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The streaking New England Patriots will host the sliding Indianapolis Colts in Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The game was originally scheduled to be aired on Sunday Night Football, but due to the Colts’ spectacular ineptitude was flexed to 1:00 p.m.
The Patriots have won their last three games by a combined score of 109-39, while the Colts are still looking for their first win of the season.
Colts head coach Jim Caldwell announced on Tuesday that former Detroit Lion Dan Orlovsky is now their starting quarterback instead of Curtis Painter.
Caldwell also announced the firing of defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, with LB coach Mike Murphy being promoted to Coyer’s spot.
Despite the Colts’ 0-11 record, the Patriots are preparing just as hard for Sunday’s game as they do for any other game, if not harder. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick insisted in Wednesday’s press conference that no matter what the record says, the Colts have a ton of talent at wide receivers and defensive end.
Las Vegas would like to dissent, as the Patriots are favored by a spread of 20 points.
Even though the outcome might not be in question, there are still some areas that the Patriots could work on in this week’s game:
Despite being hit with a truckload of injuries this season, the Patriots’ offensive line has played remarkably well, especially in recent weeks.
Sebastian Vollmer, who started last week against the Eagles, did not practice, while fellow tackle Matt Light was limited. Putting up a zero or one sack performance against the Dwight Freeney-Robert Mathis pass rush would be huge for this team going into the last quarter of the season.
The Patriots running back committee of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley had a mediocre day against Philadelphia last Sunday.
With the Patriots likely running out the clock for most of the second half, the backfield will have a great opportunity to show that they can get the job done, and at the very least make other teams respect the play-action.
Of course, Tom Brady can run the ball as well, and posted a season-high 28 yards on the ground last week.