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Patriots-Colts matchup of the day: Saturday

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Dec. 03, 2011 @ 5:06 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

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

Colts C Jeff Saturday vs. Patriots DT Vince Wilfork

Two of the best at their respective positions face off on Sunday, as Saturday and Wilfork are the veteran leaders of their respective units.

Saturday has done his best to be the glue for the Colts' offense this season. The O-line is young and has been hampered by injuries. Dan Orlovsky will be the third starting quarterback for Saturday to snap to, after over a decade of snapping to Peyton Manning.

Saturday has not missed a start since 2008. He has been called for two penalties and has given up 1.5 sacks this season.

Wilfork hasn't moved around as much as he did last season when he played nose and end. With the Patriots often using a 40-front, he has lined up next to Kyle Love on the inside. The Pro Bowler has 29 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.

In addition to keeping Wilfork from getting penetration, Saturday will need to keep Wilfork's hands down. The big man has two interceptions this season and will be looking to get his paws on an Orlovsky throw on Sunday.

Wilfork is also key in the Patriots' pass rush, which doesn't get a whole lot from the interior. The goal of bringing Albert Haynesworth in was to get more penetration from the middle, but that experiment failed, putting more of the onus back on Wilfork. The pass rush has gotten better, but it still has room for improvement, especially considering some of New England's potential playoff opponents.

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