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November 4, 2007
Big break for the Patriots
BY JIM DONALDSON
Journal Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS -- It's a huge plus for the Pats that both Marvin Harrison and Tony Ugoh will be inactive this afternoon -- and that TE Ben Watson will play.
With Harrison out, the Pats can concentrate more on stopping Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. Anthony Gonzalez may be a first-round draft choice, but he's still a rookie, and does not pose the threat that a healthy Harrison does.
Ugoh, Indy's second-round pick this year, out of Arkansas, is the Colts' starting left tackle. His absence could require the Colts to put a tight end on that side to help protect Peyton Manning.
Similarly, keep an eye on how Pats' LT Matt Light does with Indy's speed rusher, Dwight Freeney. Light sometimes struggles with speed guys, which may result in Kyle Brady staying in more often to block, rather than running routes. Stating the obvious, it's imperative that the Pats protect QB Tom Brady.
Conversely, having Watson in the lineup will make the Pats' already-potent passing game even more effective. When opposing defenses already have to worry about Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donte Stallworth, adding a 6-3, 255-pound tight end who can run is another huge headache.
Yesterday, if pressed, I'd probably have taken the Colts, plus the points. Now, with Harrison and Ugoh out, and Watson playing, I like the Pats.
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 3:27 PM | Permalink