Can Andrew Luck and the Colts beat the Patriots on Saturday?

The Colts are going into familiar territory as they get ready to face the Patriots in the playoffs once again. However, this time Peyton Manning isn’t the QB and Brady doesn’t have the weapons like Wes Welker or Rob Gronkowski in disposal. For Andrew Luck, he is going back to the stadium where the Colts had their worse loss since 2012 which was a 24-59 loss.

Since that game, the Colts and Patriots have gone through change player-wise. Patriots lost Wes Welker in the offseason as he signed with the Denver Broncos and lost Gronkowski to an ACL injury . The Colts lost Reggie Wayne to an ACL injury in the Week 7 matchup against the Broncos.

The Colts defense went through a tremendous change as they moved on from Dwight Freeney and signed many key free agents like CB Greg Toler (placed on IR this week) and S LaRon Landry. For the Patriots defense, key starters like LB Brandon Spikes and DT Vince Wilfork are in the injury reserve and the defense has significantly gotten worse. However, the Patriots still secured the second seed even with the many injures in their defense.

The Colts also have Andrew Luck, who latest heroics in the wild-card game proved that the Colts can never be counted out. T.Y. Hilton also has become a star in the WR position while the Patriots haven’t had a star WR in awhile. Luck, who is prone to throw interceptions, has done a good enough job to limit the interceptions during the regular season. However against the Chiefs, Luck threw three interceptions which probably created the 28 point hole that the Colts got out of.

Turnovers will be the key as I expect better coaching (much better coaching than what Andy Reid did last Saturday) which will not provide another late heroic by either team.

I don’t expect a blowout by the Patriots as many writers (mostly Patriots writers) are predicting but I expect a hard fought game. Times have changed since the Manning vs. Brady era and I believe change is coming as the Colts have a good chance to win against the Patriots.

My prediction (I always choose the Colts because I don’t bet)

is: Colts 28 – Patriots 24 with a Andrew Luck game-winning drive. But remember, this is the NFL. Anything can happen.