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Michael Taylor 14th Nov 2009 - 17:42

Pats carry the form and value into week 10

The NFL is about so much more than quarterbacks but nobody can deny the highlight of week 10 is the battle between the world's two best known generals as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady go head-to-head.

The Indianapolis Colts welcome the New England Patriots to the Lucas Oil Stadium and they only have one thing on their mind, make sure they remain perfect this season.

Despite a hopeless pre-season it's all been smooth sailing so far for the Colts as they've made the most of some light scheduling to take full control of an uncompetitive AFC South.

Last week's tight win over the slow starting Houston Texans was not exactly impressive but I'm sure coach Jim Caldwell wasn't too bothered as they extended their divisional lead to 3.5 games.

However, a similar performance this week will simply not suffice as they face their toughest opposition of the season.

The Pats are looking every inch Super Bowl contenders now that Brady has found his groove and the defence are looking typically solid after more than a few wobbles last season.

Wes Welker has been a great second receiver for Brady to consistently aim for and Randy Moss is still proving to be in the top echelons of the NFL's receiving pool.

On the defensive side of things the entire unit has been strong even if there isn't a stand out leader in sacks or tackles.

They'll need to get pressure on Manning but Bill Belichick is a smart operator and you can be sure the pass rush comes when it's needed, or at least, in betting terms, I hope it will.

If Manning is allowed to control the game and pick out Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne when he sees fit then the Colts are in with a great shout, I just can't see that happening though.

My major turn off from Indianapolis' status as favourites has to be the quality of opposition they've come across, or should I say lack of quality.

Barring a tough looking trip to the unpredictable Arizona Cardinals in week two they haven't met another team that will be playing more than 16 games this year.

Who knows, perhaps their rookie head coach is an instant tactical genius, I just can't see any value their money line price of 20/27.

On the other hand though, I'm delighted that you can claim 23/20 about New England to win the match, while I think I'll be avoiding the handicap on this occasion (the Patriots have been given a three point start).

If you're looking for that extra bit of assurance about the Patriots chances then you'll be happy to hear the Colts are looking a bit short in the secondary with the absence of Kelvin Hayden.

With two scary downfield targets in Moss and Welker a lack of a corner has to be a worry for Caldwell, however I prefer to look at it as a great chance to get on the 7/10 about New England notching up more than 21.5 points.

The one thing I can say for the Colts is that a loss might actually do them some good.

Caldwell may think all is perfect in Indiana at the minute but, ahead of the play-offs, it's essential he gets to see the true character of his team.



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