Curran's quick glance at the Pats-Colts matchup

Curran's quick glance at the Pats-Colts matchup
January 5, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Once the Patriots lost their shot at the No. 1 overall seed, the best best-case scenario was gone.
 
But the best scenario from the remaining scenarios? This just might be it.
 
Thanks to San Diego’s walloping of the Bengals on Sunday afternoon, the Patriots will host Indianapolis on Saturday night.
 
The elimination of the Bengals means a team the Patriots played their poorest game of the season against has been eliminated.
 
Additionally, it means San Diego -- which beat the Broncos in Denver 27-20 in Week 15 -- will head back to Denver where Peyton Manning tries to avoid getting whisked from the playoffs after 60 minutes for the ninth time in his career.
 
Manning has never beaten the Chargers in a playoff game.
 
And, lastly, it means the Patriots face a team that they demolished 59-24 last year at Gillette Stadium. The Colts showed some mettle in knocking off Kansas City on Saturday but with Jamaal Charles, Brandon Flowers, Donnie Avery and Charles’ backup Knile Davis being eliminated from the game by injury, the Colts were hardly showing their mettle against the iron.
 
Indianapolis has three impressive wins on its 2013 resume -- 27-7 at San Fran in Week 3, 34-28 over Seattle in Week 5, 39-33 over Denver in Week 7.
 
But they lost Reggie Wayne in that win over the Broncos and since then the Colts went 6-3 with losses to Arizona, St. Louis and Cincinnati. Their wins during that stretch weren’t against terrific competition except for the Week 16 triumph over the Chiefs, 23-7.
 
The sluggishness of the Colts’ start against the Chiefs was marked by a glacial response to the scrambling of Alex Smith’s read-option runs and stupid decisions by quarterbacking wunderkind Andrew Luck should certainly give Patriots fans measured optimism about the Patriots chances to advance.