New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts [PREVIEW]
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots — 4:25 PM
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
Spread: Patriots by 9
Forecast: Temperatures starting in the upper 40s; sunny.
Records: Patriots (Overall: 6-3, AFC East: 3-0); Colts (Overall: 6-3, AFC South: 2-1)
Indianapolis is in playoff contention thanks to rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts will use receiver Reggie Wayne to test a Patriots' pass defense that ranks 29th in the NFL, giving up 285.3 yards per game. However, New England has revamped their secondary with newly acquired cornerback Aqib Talib.
New England is still explosive on offense, averaging a league-high 33.2 points and 430.2 yards per game under quarterback Tom Brady. The Colts have just four interceptions on the season.
Guard Logan Mankins (ankle/calf) hasn't practiced this week since injuring his ankle last Sunday against Buffalo. Wide Receiver Wes Welker's lingering ankle injury kept him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday and Guard Dan Connolly has been unable to get on the field because of a back injury. Wide Receiver Deion Branch suffered a hamstring injury during Wednesday's practice and was actually released on Saturday and promoted Wide Receiver Greg Salas off the practice squad. Branch was released by the Patriots out of training camp then was re-signed on Sept. 19 and had played in all seven games since, with nine receptions for 80 yards. He had a season-high four catches against Buffalo last week.