Divisional Round playoff vs. Colts

Divisional Round playoff vs. Colts
January 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Less than 24 hours to go until the Patriots square off with the Indianapolis Colts with a trip to the AFC Championship on the line. 

If the Patriots win, it will be their third consecutive trip to the AFC Championship.

Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran is in the house to share his three keys for the Patriots in the Divisional Round. 

Take away T.Y. Hilton

Hilton lit up the Chiefs last week to the tune of 13 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns. 

"I thought this guy was just a little bit of a slot receiver," says Curran. "But in speaking with Devin McCourty and some other players in the secondary, they've said he is more than just a slot. He's a threat outside, he runs a lot of routes. Easiest way to take care of him, you make sure Aqib Talib is on him, shuts him down." 

Hilton isn't the only weapon in the Colts' stable, but he is the most dangerous. 
"Otherwise you should be in business because I guarantee, T.Y. Hilton is not going to have the same kind of game against the Patriots that he had against the Chiefs," says Curran.
Don't let Andrew Luck scramble out of the pocket
The Patriots haven't exactly locked things down on third-and-long this season. In fact, they've been downright sketchy. 
Andrew Luck does a great job of extending drives with his legs when things break down. He made a veteran play last week against the Chiefs that was part luck (no pun intended) and part heads up football. The result was a touchdown after Donald Brown fumbled inside the five yard line.
Luck has a big frame that makes him tough to bring down, so the Patriots will be best served by not letting him get his motor running in the first place.
"If [Luck is] over 40 yards rushing, bad job Patriots," says Curran.
Brady must keep intensity in check
"Tom Brady has got to keep his playoff intensity under wraps enough so that he doesn't come out and make some kind of unforced error because he's so geared up to play in the football game," says Curran.
"[The] Patriots have to have their best player, the best player in the playoffs as far as I'm concerned, the Michael Jordan in the NFL, playing at the level they're accustomed to," says Curran. "Tom Brady has to come out in measured, patient mode and get things done early, and the blowout will follow." 
"Patriots win 27-17, but it wasn't that close."