The second game on tap for Championship weekend is the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Tom Brady and Andrew Luck meeting up for what should be a terrific game.
Indianapolis is here after beating Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos last week. The surprising part of that game was how well the Colts defense played. It almost reminded me of the 2006 NFL playoffs when the Chiefs met the Colts. The Indy run defense had been bad all season long so I thought the Chiefs had a chance coming in with Larry Johnson. But then as safety Bob Sanders returned in the playoffs the Colts run defense turned superhuman and played amazingly well.
I'm picking the Patriots in this game. The tiebreaker for me is that the game is being played in New England, so tie goes to the home team. Both teams seem pretty evenly matched. Both quarterbacks are capable of putting up points in a hurry so even if one team gets up 14-0, the game isn't over (as we saw last week between the Patriots and Ravens, who got up on New England by 14 points twice.
The last time these two teams played came back in November when the Patriots beat the Colts, 42-20. That was the game Patriots RB Jonas Gray ran for 200 yards and four touchdowns.
I can't find any former Chiefs on the Patriots roster. On the Colts, there are former Chiefs LB Andy Studebaker and CB Jalil Brown.
I'm picking the Patriots to win, and they're even a 7-point favorite in the game.
AFC Championship nuts and bolts
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
When: 5:40 p.m. CT
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Radio: Patriots Radio Network | Colts Radio Network
Online Streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile | CBS Sports
Odds: The Patriots opened up as 7-point favorites on most books, according to OddsShark.
Patriots blog: Pats Pulpit
Colts blog: Stampede Blue