November 4, 2007


Air warnings (Jim McBride, November 4, 2007, Boston Globe)

New England Patriots (8-0) at Indianapolis Colts (7-0) 4:15 p.m., Channel 4. Line: Patriots by 5 1/2

When the Patriots run

Lawrence Maroney could play his biggest role to date - that of clock killer. He has to have the ball in his hands in order to keep it out of Peyton Manning's hands. Maroney hasn't had to be a workhorse this year, so he should have plenty in the tank if he has to go 20-25 carries today. Maroney is an explosive, patient runner who always appears to be one juke away from a big gain. He gets knocked because of his upright running style, but it's tough to argue with his results. Maroney has good vision but he sometimes gets caught doing a little too much stutter-stepping. That can't happen today because the speedy, aggressive Colts will make him pay. Kevin Faulk has long been a valuable cog in the Patriots offense, and never has that been more evident than this season. Faulk still catches defenders off-guard with his quick first step and ability to shake off initial contact. Look for Heath Evans to see more action at fullback to try to neutralize Gary Brackett, a middle linebacker who moves well side to side, displays excellent quickness, and is a good hitter. He lacks bulk (235 pounds), though, and was the victim of some punishing hits by Panther fullback Brad Hoover last week. Brackett is flanked by outside linebacker Freddy Keiaho, a quick, athletic player who is sometimes burned by his overaggressiveness, and Rob Morris, a surly tackler who gets hurt by a lack of speed. Safety Bob Sanders, he of the freakishly huge triceps, provides excellent run support.

If he has a 100 yard game it will be a blowout.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2007 10:55 AM

Sanders provides excellent run support because he plays the run a lot more than the pass. Last year he got away with that against the Pats, not sure he can this year with Moss, Stallworth, and Welker. But Maroney does need a much better game this year than last year for the Pats to win.

Posted by: AWW at November 4, 2007 11:47 AM