Tale of the tape
Week 11: New England Patriots Vs. Indianapolis Colts
|Tom Brady continues to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. While he has been questioned when the New England defense gives up a late lead and he has not always been successful in regaining the lead. Brady reads defenses extremely well and he has a powerful arm. Brady has a razor-sharp 18-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.||Quarterback||Rookie Andrew Luck is a remarkable talent who has had to go through a very small adjustment period in his first year in the NFL. He is already a very effective leader. He has a strong arm, an excellent release and he is a very accurate passer. Luck has full confidence in himself and his teammates believe in him as well.|
|The running game has been impressive for Bill Belichick this year. Stevan Ridley has rushed for 814 yards and is averaging an impressive 4.7 yards per carry. The Pats have a plethora of receiving options. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is probably Brady’s best receiving option, but never overlook Wes Welker even though he has dropped a few passes this season.||Offense||The Colts want to give Luck some help with a dependable running game, but that may be hard to manage against the Patriots, who rank 9th in run defense. Donald Brown is not a big name, but he is good enough to take some of the heat off Luck. Brown is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and has rushed for 361 yards. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne is having a sensational season with 69 catches for 931 yards and 3 TDs.|
|The Pats continue to give opponents big plays and yardage with their ineffective pass defense. Belichick is hoping that newcomer Aqib Talib will upgrade this area because he is much more talented than any of the Pats’ other cover men. Cornerback Devin McCourty saved the Week 10 win vs. Buffalo with a late interception. He has three picks this season. Linebacker Jerod Mayo has a team-high 91 tackles and he gets help from middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who has 61 stops.||Defense||The Colts are not the most talented defensive team, but they combine speed and aggressiveness and are somewhat effective. They rank 18th overall and they appear to be getting better after limiting the Jaguars to 10 points in Week 10. Robert Mathis is the team’s most effective pass rusher with 6.0 sacks, but don’t overlook Dwight Freeney even though he has just 2.0 sacks.|
|The Patriots have plenty of confidence in Stephen Gostkowski and he has made 20-of-23 FG attempts, including 2-of-2 from 50 yards and beyond. Zoltan Mesko is an excellent directional punter who has dropped 19 of his 32 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.||Special Teams||Adam Vinatieri may not be the kicker he once was during the height of his career. He has missed 6-of-24 field goal attempts and 3 of his misses have been on kicks of less than 40 yards. Pat McAfee is averaging 47.8 yards per punt and gets excellent height on his kicks.|
The winner is
More Tales of the tape
NCAA Championship Game: #1 Louisville Vs. #4 Michigan
Rick Pitino has been here before, after making his 7th Final Four appearance, he’s now in his third go-round in the title game. He’s got plenty of experience on the big stage and he has the Cardinals playing high level basketball at the right time.
NCAA Tournament First Round: #4 Syracuse Vs. #13 Montana
This one is absolutely no contest. Jim Boeheim has reached three Final Fours and won a national championship (2003). He will bring his top-of-the-line acumen to the ACC next year, but for now, it’s to the big dance on behalf of the Big East.
NCAA Tournament First Round: #2 Duke Vs. #15 Albany
The Blue Devils suffered a tough loss in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, but they’re still led by Coach K who has 79 wins all-time in the tourney and has made 11 Final Fours.
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