Conference championship weekend is almost here and the two teams battling to be the AFC champion are the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. Here are some fascinating facts to point out about each team as they battle to win a coveted spot in the upcoming Super Bowl.
1. 480. This is the number of total rushing yards the Patriots have laid on the Colts in their last two games. If the Colts have any chance to win this game, they can’t allow the Patriots offensive line to open up gaping holes in the running game. That’s a rather simple point.
2. Speaking of gaping holes, during their last two meetings, multiple Patriots running backs each scored four rushing touchdowns against the Colts. LeGarrette Blount blasted 166 yards and four touchdowns on the Colts in the 2013 playoffs and Jonas Gray torched them for 201 rushing yards and four scores in Week 11 of the 2014 season.
Good luck stopping these two on Sunday. I can’t imagine the Patriots scratching Gray after such production just eight weeks ago.
3. The Colts have lost four consecutive at Gillette Stadium. The last time they won was in November of 2006 when Peyton Manning was the quarterback. I’ll bet Brady thought he would be playing Manning this Sunday and not Andrew Luck.
4. The Patriots 3-0 record against the Andrew Luck-led Colts has them winning by an average of three touchdowns per game. If the Patriots keep with this pace, it’s going to be an awfully difficult score for the Colts to beat.
5. Even though the Patriots are scoring touchdowns, Tom Brady has yet to throw for multiple touchdowns against the Colts in their four postseason meetings. It’s clear those running backs are doing the work here.
6. In his three games against the Patriots, Andrew Luck has surpassed 300-plus passing yards in each game. While it’s a small sample size, it’s better than Brady’s passing record, which averages just 203 yards per game against the Colts.
7. In his 27 playoff game appearances, Tom Brady has completed an average of 23.1 passes per game.
8. When comparing the top wide receiver and tight end for each team, the 2014 numbers come out incredibly close.
Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman had a total of 2,096 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.
Coby Fleener and T.Y. Hilton had a total of 2,119 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. That’s about as close as it gets which is good enough in Horseshoes.
10. Speaking of fairly close statistics, the Patriots allowed an average of 257.4 passing yards and 1.5 passing touchdowns per game this past regular season. The Colts allowed 245.7 passing yards and 1.7 passing touchdowns. This puts Brady and Luck with their near mirror image receivers and tight ends on pretty fair playing ground.
Sunday’s game should be a highly competitive affair with a ton of yards accumulated on each side. Will the Colts be able to control the Patriots’ bulldozing running backs? Will Luck outplay Brady? And, which receiving corps will prevail?
We will find out soon enough.