Jan 8, 2014|
FOXBORO --- WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Patriots-Colts playoff at Gillette Stadium Saturday night.
Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.
Welcome once again at Gillette Stadium more specifically the hall at patriot place brought to you by Raytheon and the patriots pro shop I'm joined as always. By patriots expert columnist for WEEI dot com Christopher price. Well Chris finally the patriots know who they're playing in the second round of the playoffs after a well -- and well deserved bye week. They're playing the Indianapolis Colts Andrew -- and company after their miraculous 28 point comeback win against -- Kansas City Chiefs. In the wild card round last weekend they are not playing the Bengals they were upset by San Diego. So the patriots get Andrew Luck. And the colts. First of all your thoughts in the take aways from what a miraculous comeback that was engineered by Andrew -- I think yeah I was very impressed by eight the mental toughness the resilience the great. That the -- displayed in in a -- -- the chiefs of a lot of guys that we just talked to in the locker room including Bill Belichick whether we're also impressed by the fact that they were able to. Come out of that do Goldman that twenty point deficit they were durable and make something of it in the second half inning you'll compromise -- post victory there. I think that these faces tall order coming in here not trying to knock off the patriot but I think what we've seen so far in the playoffs from the colts has been very impressive at this point. Well I think one other takeaways I had watching that game and even watching it come back Chris. They still don't have a great running game exactly and I find it hard to believe. That a non bruising defense without a pounding running game would have a chance even though it's going to be relatively warm about 45 degrees. Come kick off Saturday night chance of rain. And have that kind of chance against the page. It's here at July I think to -- to. Don't really corridor a sizeable break when you talk about playoff matchups in the colts like you said. Do not run the ball consistently at all switching from that perspective heading to patriots feel pretty good about this -- Donald Brown Trent Richardson have really underwhelmed to this point this season. We all about the patriots struggles when it comes to defending the run the you're looking at a pretty good match up I would -- a winnable match -- for knowing that I wouldn't be surprised at doing then came out in nickel and dime packages and -- them to try and run the ball. Saturday and criteria did -- in the in this divisional playoff contest because I think that we're gonna see. A colts team. That is going to be interest not -- the strength in and they're gonna try and throw the ball they're gonna have to try and run the ball a little bit and I think when you look at. The package the complete offensive package this Indianapolis team. In its totality the don't do a good job run the ball they're about as one dimensional as you can see at this time here they're gonna have to find a way to try and run it. If they're gonna wanna if they've really wanna widgets coming your knock off the patriots. All right hours and for the Tom Brady press conference. Chris and the first thing I noticed was how we locked. First -- -- had a cough drop in its mouth second volley -- a bit of a red eye in in the right -- so he clearly wasn't feeling well. We asked him point blank toward the end of the press conference. You have a cold he said yeah I've got a little bit of a cold I got the sniffles at that time a year. Patriots you know we've been moved practice indoors. Today on Tuesday. To account for that the wind -- the sub zero wind chill here at July what these patriots Chris. Obviously they wanna be ready for the weather but they wanna be ready health wise as well and that's a big factor going into this game in a big reason the patriots. Moved their practice indoors at least for one day. I think also to look or indoors as well also I I think that gives you some sense of just how cold it is done here today but I also think part of it is that the weather forecast on Saturday calls for a 4050. Degrees even though it's supposed to go to Bahraini -- think the conditions are more suited to their time -- -- dome as opposed to being outside. I think if the conditions were. Fifteen to twenty degrees on Saturday night I think that might be a little bit different but I think it's a good call but it's dangerous to be outside you know help the -- is being used to be outside that is -- goes in the right call. They're moving indoors and we. This afternoon and I think the last thing the patriots wanna deal with -- a team wide epidemic of flu and cold going around the locker room. Bill Belichick wants them to be tough but he also wants to use common sense is well I need -- the players to be as close to a 100% as they can be. At this time a year asked Rob Ninkovich about that he also I met with the media on Tuesday and he said. It's not so much the cold as it is the putting at this time a year because what happened on Monday we have obviously had rain here -- Foxboro. And it got cold you know almost instantaneously. And that rain in the in the field froze over. And that is dangerous and slippery and that is that yet another reason the patriots moved indoors now we're talking about Rob Ninkovich. A big loss on the defense it seems like we've been saying this every single week we -- one of these previews. This week no surprise Brandon Spikes out for the year he's on season. Ending injured reserve he's gonna need knee surgery is uniforms right behind us here on the racks. They're patriots gonna have to find a way to replace him starting with Donta hightower what -- Donta -- tell you in the locker room on Tuesday. Hightower was very forthcoming and a number of levels first of all he admitted defective. Look he tried to do too much earlier in the year when -- in Downey has some of the losses on the defensive side of the ball. He tried to get outside his comfort zone what do but -- tried to do too much what he says now he's dialed back he's at a better place and I think we're seeing him play better football because of it but so much more is going to be put on the shoulders of Donta hightower. Dane Fletcher Jimmy Collins going forward. Because really that's the group did you have a deadline backers but now we've mail out in spikes out for the rest of your -- going to be interesting to see. How -- group comes together. I'm fascinated to see how they go about defending the run because usual four to lose tell you lose man you lose by -- Those are for arguably -- best run defenders know again we talked about the fact it. This is not a great team when it comes to running the football the -- really don't run the ball that consistently. I wonder if they're gonna try and test that and again we talked about maybe the pitchers coming up in nickel and dime packages to trying to -- them to run. I think we might see that more and more so it's going to be interesting -- see how the loss of spikes at least in the short term affects his defense in the way to go about defending the -- On Saturday what's interesting that. Potentially the two teams they can be saying before you get to a super ball are the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos neither team. Really -- explosive running game though no shop Marino did run. Joining 24 yards in that Sunday night game neither team though really relies on its running game exactly at the same point to -- sit here and say well you know. We're gonna book a flight to Denver for the AFC championship game in two weeks but to look at the chargers and they've been such an up and down team we saw last week -- play against the Bengals. I would not be shocked in the slightest if the patriots ended up posting -- seats in particular here against the chargers in two weeks it's been that kind of year it's been a strange year. Especially in the AFC. We don't know quite what the charger -- really what the chargers are capable ought to do you can go in there. And they could put up forty on this on the on the Broncos they could also ended know going there and Philip Rivers to throw three picks in lose thirty to ten. So I think that really is. Probably if you had to break him down the two games this week in the AFC. That's the X-Factor -- I think the patriots have to feel pretty good about where they are even with all the injuries the matchup -- would think certainly favor doing and come and this one. The other one I'm not so sure about what Philip Rivers is knowing Andy doll and crafts I -- I would knock down on that happening as somebody who. Saw Andy Dalton and Philip Rivers up close and personal. On Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium I can assure you of that. So your final score for Saturday night obviously like the patriots I do acting doing it's gonna win this thing I think there's an early in the week 3024. Planning to stick without hitting the colts are gonna be able to keep it interesting fur. You know half for so but I think ultimately -- ends. A superior running game I think the patriots certainly -- Both ways on the ground -- our run defense in their ability to run the ball the colts have been. A little bit inconsistent in their ability to defend the run -- it's going to be another big night for bigger one Steven Ridley Brandon Bolden C arena that group. I think that's going to be the difference in this one -- doing it's gonna win this thing 3024. All right Chris we'll see what happens certainly going to be very interesting to see how the Indianapolis Colts. Deal with the come down or the you know the week after such a miraculous comeback obviously the bills use that 1993. To get back to the Super Bowl only to lose it again. But still to be very fascinating to see what happens come Saturday night here at Gillette Stadium. For Christopher price Mike -- rally inside the patriots pro shop here at Gillette Stadium WEEI. Dot com.