Each Wednesday throughout the season we'll identify one player or area of the team that is most under the microscope. This week, OTs Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer are the choice.
The offensive line has been tremendous of late, allowing only one sack of Tom Brady in the past three games, including allowing zero sacks to the Steelers in last Sunday night's win. Light and Vollmer get another big challenge in Week 11 against Colts DEs Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney.
The Pats' offense finally got into a rhythm against the Steelers, and with Peyton Manning on the other side, the Pats will likely need another 30 points. In order to keep that rhythm going, Vollmer and Light need to keep Brady on his feet.
Mathis and Freeney have combined for 13½ sacks this season and Bill Belichick and Brady have discussed both of them this week as guys to be aware of. "When you play a team like the Colts, you know you're not going to be able to hold it too long, so you've got to find an open guy and get rid of the ball, make the throw and try to make it a completion — try to make a good, accurate throw," Brady said in a conference call.
Light, in his 10th season, has had an up-and-down campaign, struggling early on but coming on strong of late, especially on Sunday night. Vollmer had an exceptional rookie season in ’09 and looks to be the left tackle of the future. Brady gets rid of the ball quickly, but Mathis and Freeney will be bearing down on him, and it's on Brady's tackles to keep him upright and keep the offense flowing.