Andrew Luck Will Outplay Tom Brady During Saturday’s Game

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Courtesy of ESPN: Andrew Luck and the Colts need to show more consistency.

As the title says, Colts QB Andrew Luck will outplay Patriots QB Tom Brady when both the Indianapolis Colts face against the New England Patriots on Saturday’s divisional round game. Now how can someone even state a crazy statement like that? How can someone state that a second-year quarterback outplay a future HOF and three-time Super Bowl champion? Well I have proof that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have not prepared well for the last couple of playoff games. Note: I will not put any advance statistics as Luck is at a new system since both the Colts and Patriots last met and I will not put a lot of postseason statistics as the Patriots haven’t played in the playoffs yet.

Fact number one: This season Tom Brady has been human when opposing defenses gets him out of his comfort zone. According to SI.com, when Brady is pressured (hurried and hit) he completes only 46 percent of his passes. In addition to that situation, Brady has thrown five touchdowns and five interceptions. That is music to Colts OLB Robert Mathis ears as he was the leader in sacks this season with 19.5 sacks.

If Mathis (including the rest of the Colts defense) can pressure Brady then he will start missing his receivers and even throw interceptions which the Colts are undefeated when they win the turnover battle. The key though is getting to Brady quick while the secondary contain their man which they proved against the Chiefs that they still have trouble with.

Fact number two: Tom Brady lost his two biggest weapons. WR Wes Welker and TE Rob Gronkowski were two of Brady’s reliable receivers for the past couple of years. With Welker moving to Denver to join Peyton Manning and Gronk being hurt (again), the reliability of a receiver has not been found in the patriots whereas the Luck found WR Griff Whalen and TE Coby Fleener to be great and reliable receivers. Whalen and Fleener may not create the most explosive plays (like T.Y. Hilton) but when Luck needs to throw it quick, he can find both of them quickly.

By looking at Brady statistics and film, you can clearly tell he still isn’t comfortable with the WR corps. This will be the downfall of Brady as his inability to trust them will cost him costly turnovers.

Fact number three: The New England Patriots defense isn’t the top notch defense it used to be. In reality, the New England Patriots defense was ranked lower than the Colts defense right now. Back when the Patriots won their three Super Bowls in four season, their defense was ranked in the top ten in most of every defensive category especially in turnovers.

I can’t see the Patriots being that type of defense against the Colts especially after losing key starters throughout the season. Luck will find other receivers like Whalen or Rogers if the Patriots double team Hilton all day. I also expect Luck to scramble against a horrible run defense.

Fact number four: Andrew Luck will pick apart the Patriots secondary by creating mismatches. For example, putting T.Y. Hilton at the slot will cause the Patriots defense to adjust its coverage. This will cause the Patriots to put their slot corner (usually their number three corner) against Hilton which has shown that Hilton has success facing slot corners. If the Patriots decide to put starting cornerback Aqib Talib at the slot with Hilton then that will create mismatches at the outside where WR Whalen, Brazill or Rogers will thrive on.

Placing Hilton at the slot will be key. Hilton against the Chiefs (who had a huge career game) played at the slot 48 out of the total 57 snaps. It shows how successful Hilton is when placed at the slot position.

If WR Da’Rick Rogers has a game like when he had against the Bengals then the Patriots not only have to worry to cover T.Y. Hilton but also Rogers as well which is proven to be harder than what it looks like. Remember Rogers had a first/second round grade on him but off field issues forced teams to not draft the young WR. Therefore, he has the talent to be dangerous.

The Colts are riding with emotion and momentum. As of right now the Colts betting everything on the line as they will use everything in their power and playbook for an advantage. The WR corps will be tested but I believe they will win most of their battles. Against Josh Gordy, the Patriots let him run their secondary over which shows that they do have weaknesses. The Colts must do the same thing and exploit the Patriots secondary weaknesses. Even if Patriots pressure Luck, he has shown the ability to have amazing pocket presence and pocket movement.

Brady will be pressured by Robert Mathis all game and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mathis does his signature strip sack fumble on Brady. This will cause Brady to not feel comfortable in the pocket which even Brady can’t perform at a high level if he is not comfortable.