While there may have been an unmatchable amount of hype for the Patriots' week nine match-up against the Denver Broncos, the stakes are just as big for the Patriots heading into a road match-up against the Colts.
The Patriots are currently in 1st place in the AFC East. They hold a relatively comfortable two game lead - the Bills and Dolphins both sit at 5-4. Due to a tiebreaker that they own with the Broncos, they are also currently in the drivers seat for the #1 seed in the AFC.
The Colts, like the Patriots, currently hold a two game lead in their division, the AFC South, at 6-3. The Texans are the next-best team at 4-5. If the postseason started today, they would be the #3 seed in the AFC.
If the Colts were to beat the Patriots on Sunday, they would take the head-to-head tiebreaker and would be in position to steal a first round bye (the Broncos own the head-to-head on them, which could make things interesting in the event of a three way tie for the first seed).
Here's something else to think about: both teams are coming off of a week ten bye. Which means that both will have had two weeks to prepare. That should bring game planning to the forefront.
This match-up will also feature two of the three highest scoring offenses in the league. Bring on the predictions of a shootout.
I haven't even mentioned the outstanding Patriots-Colts rivalry and that Indianapolis will be looking to avenge their divisional playoff loss to New England earlier this year. So yeah, this should be a fun week. What are your early thoughts on the match-up?