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INDIANAPOLIS – Haven’t we been down this road before with the New England Patriots?
A sluggish start to the season, for their elite standards, has them with a 2-2 record after the first month of the season.
This happens while an AFC East team, the Dolphins in this case, starts the season 3-0.
But the Patriots showed all his well in the New England area (at least for now) after a 38-7 thrashing of the previously undefeated Dolphins on Sunday.
It was easily the best performance of the season for the Patriots, who will happily welcome back Julian Edelman back from a four-game suspension on Thursday.
New England’s offense currently ranks 22nd in the NFL, with the passing game needing a jolt, as well.
Defensively, the Patriots have struggled against the run (26th), but their 8th ranked passing defense has been key.
While the personnel has changed a lot from those historic Colts/Patriots games, there are still several connections on each roster.
Former Colts in Dwayne Allen (1 catch for -4 yards this season), Phillip Dorsett (16 catches for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns) and recently signed John Simon (1 sack and 5 tackles last week) are all playing various roles for the Patriots.
The Colts will be looking to end a 7-game losing streak to the Patriots, dating back to 2009.
Those losses have averaged 19 points per game in defeat and New England has scored at least 31 points in each of those 7 wins.
2018 Record: 2-2, 2nd place in the AFC East.
Head Coach: Bill Belichick, head coach (22 seasons as an NFL head coach, 17th as the head coach of the Patriots, 251-119 overall in regular season, 27-10 in the postseason).
2018 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 23rd (337.3); Rushing, 12th (117.0); Passing, 22nd (220.3). Defense – Overall, 11th (347.8); Rushing, 26th (121.5); Passing, 8th (226.3).
2018 Leading Quarterback: Tom Brady (87-of-136 comp., 918 yards, 64.4 pct., 9 TDs, 4 INTs, 94.0 rating).
2018 Leading Running Back: Sony Michel (49 carries, 196 yards, 1 TD).
2018 Leading Receiver: James White (22 receptions, 193 yards, 3 TDs).
2018 Leading Sacker: Deatrick Wise (2.5).
2018 Turnover Breakdown: 0 (tied for 14th in the NFL).
2018 NFL Draft Results: With two first round picks, the Patriots selected a pair of Georgia guys in OT-Isaiah Wynn and RB-Sony Michel. In the preseason, Wynn suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Michel is the team’s leading rusher after a breakout game last week. In the second round, cornerback Duke Dawson (Florida) was the choice. New England didn’t have another draft pick until Round 5, when they chose Purdue linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley.
2017 Review: Another ho-hum start to the season for the Patriots got back to their dominant ways in the final three months of the 2017 season. New England won 11 of their final 12 games in 2017, securing the top seed in the AFC. In the playoffs, the Patriots came back to beat the Jaguars in the AFC Title. New England’s goal of winning back-to-back Super Bowls was dashed in a thrilling 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Last time in Playoffs: 2017 season. Lost Super Bowl LII, 41-33, to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Last time in Super Bowl: 2017 season. Lost Super Bowl LII, 41-33, to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Super Bowl Championships: Five. 2001 (XXXVI), 2003 (XXXVIII), 2004 (XXXIX), 2014 (XLIX), 2016 (LI).
2017 Pro Bowl Selections: QB-Tom Brady, FB-James Develin, TE-Rob Gronkowski, ST-Matthew Slater.