Patriots-Colts matchup of the day: Tuesday

Posted Nov. 29, 2011 @ 9:15 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Here's a key matchup to watch in the Week 13 game between the Patriots and Colts:

Colts DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis vs. Patriots OTs Sebastian Vollmer, Matt Light and Nate Solder

This might be the one set of individual matchups in which the Colts will have an advantage on Sunday, and capitalizing on them is their best chance of pulling off an upset.

The pair of pass rushers has been one of the only bright spots for Indy. Mathis and Freeney each have 5½ sacks on the season. Freeney has generally been held in check by New England. He had one sack in last year's meeting but has only four total sacks in 11 games against the Patriots. Mathis has been slightly more successful, recording five sacks in 10 games.

The Patriots are generally one of the best teams in the league in protecting their quarterback, but that has been a bit of a weak point at times this season. Teams are pressuring Tom Brady more than usual. Brady has good footwork and pocket presence, allowing him to avoid sacks.

Freeney and Mathis are speed rushers, and their goal will be to get to Brady quickly enough to throw off his rhythm. Light, the veteran, will take on Freeney. Light has allowed two sacks this season after giving up 10 last year.

On the right side, it will either be Vollmer or Solder. Vollmer injured his ankle in Week 12 and has already given up 3½ sacks this season. Solder, the rookie, has allowed two sacks.

If the Patriots' tackles can neutralize Freeney and Mathis, Brady should be able to pick apart the Colts' secondary with ease.