Tom Brady and the Patriots lead the AFC East with a 7-2 record. They roll into Lucas Oil Stadium tonight with a five-game winning streak to fuel their usual strong finish to regular season competition. Their only two losses include the 33-20 season opener at Miami (6-4), and a 41-14 pounding on the road in Kansas City (6-3) in week-4.
Rob Gronkowski is leading the way with 49 receptions for 663 yards and 8 touchdowns. New England is ranked 9th-overall in the league on offense averaging 367 yards per game, 8th in passing (265.8), and 19th in rushing (101.2). Yards are an interesting stat, but they don't tell the whole story. The Patriots are ranked 3rd in the NFL for average points per game (31.2), and are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for 1st-overall for the infamous turnover margin with +12. Those are the stats that most often indicate success in the win/loss column.
Belichick's team is not as disciplined as would be expected, as they lead the league in penalty yards with a staggering 699 yards on 79 penalties. The Pats defense is ranked 19th in the league (YPG), 14th in passing yards allowed, and 22nd in rushing yards allowed per game. They allow 22 points per game on average, which ranks them 12th-overall, and 8th in the AFC right behind your Houston Texans at 21.9 points per game.
Andrew Luck and the Colts are in sole-possession of first place in the AFC South with a 6-3 record. Heading into week eleven, Luck leads the NFL in passing with 3,085 yards, and he is ranked 2nd in the league with 26 touchdowns behind Peyton Manning (29).
The Indianapolis offense leads the NFL in three categories: yards per game (451.2), passing yards per game (337.4), and points per game (32.2). They are only ranked 14th in the league in rushing yards, but who needs a running game when you have T.Y. Hilton? He leads the team with 56 receptions for a whopping 937 yards and 3 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Indy is ranked 18th in the NFL on defense (YPG), 9th in run-defense, and a miserable 27th in passing yards allowed per game. They are "even" so far this season with respect to the turnover margin.
This looks like it could be a classic air-war, and a potentially high scoring game. Grab a good warm bowl of chili, or perhaps some "clam chowdah," and settle in for a great evening of Sunday Night Football. Our division opponent needs to be taken down a few notches, so Go Patriots!