The Patriots and Colts are not in the same division, but they find themselves playing each other every season, typically pitting two of the game's best quarterbacks against one another for annual thrillers.
This year is obviously different.
Without Peyton Manning, the Colts have unraveled and are 0-11, en route to becoming the second team ever to finish a 16-game season winless. Earlier this week, the team fired defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, who was in charge of one of the league's worst defenses, and it has not been able to find any answers at quarterback. This week, the Colts are going with Dan Orlovsky.
The Patrots have hit their stride on a current three-game win streak. The defense has improved, and the offense has returned to its high-octane, efficient ways.
If Orlovsky gets time and is able to get into a bit of a rhythm, Indy could make things interesting with an advantage at wide receiver with Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. That's a big if, however.
The Patriots, under Bill Belichick, are not one to look past an opponent. They overcame a slow start to blast the Chiefs on "Monday Night Football" two weeks ago and had little problem with the Eagles last week. The Colts are the worst team in the NFL, and New England, while it may give up points, should win going away. The Patriots' offense will be too much for Indy.
Prediction: Patriots 45, Colts 17