FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Coming off a road win over their division rivals, the Patriots head into Week 9 with a chance to get over .500 for the first time this season.
The 4-4 Patriots remain in last place in the AFC East, but a win Sunday afternoon could improve their standing with the Dolphins and Jets both in striking distance at 5-3.
The Patriots will host the 3-4-1 Colts, who are coming off a one-point loss to the Commanders.
Second-year QB Sam Ehlinger will make his second straight start for the Colts after they benched veteran Matt Ryan.
Indy will be without star running back Jonathan Taylor, who’s recovering from an ankle injury. This should benefit New England, especially since the Colts sent backup Nyheim Hines to the Bills at the trade deadline.
The Patriots, as they look to find some consistency on offense, will also be missing some key pieces in WR DeVante Parker and OL David Andrews and Marcus Cannon.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Before the game, join us for New England Nation at 11:30 on FOX Providence. Morey, Taylor, Sam and Gresh will have the latest on both teams and break down the keys to a Patriots win.
Below are some notes and quotes to get you ready for kickoff:
- Former Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore makes his return to Foxboro after signing with the Colts in the offseason
- New England leads the all-time series with a 48-29 record over Indy in the regular season and a 4-1 record in the playoffs, but lost the most recent matchup last December
- The Patriots were coming off a bye the last time they faced the Colts, and this time around they’re heading into a bye
Bill Belichick on the Colts: “Changed the defense a little bit, but still the defense is pretty good, and they’ve added some key players like [Yannick] Ngakoue and [Stephon] Gilmore, guys like that. So overall, they took the ball away from us last year, they ran the ball, and they made plays in the kicking game. It’s a well-balanced team. I think they’ve put together a solid roster that has good players in pretty much every position.”
Mac Jones on the Colts’ defense: “I think this is, once again, one of the top defenses in the league. Great front, great back end, great linebackers. They’ve got the players, and obviously it’s a little newer scheme compared to last year with Gus Bradley, but they’ve obviously done a really good job this year in tackles for loss, pressures and all that. They’re getting back there to the quarterback, and it’s just a really good defense. We’ve just got to be ready to go.”
Jones on getting into a rhythm with the offense: “I think that’s part of it. I think every week there’s a different game plan, which is good. That’s how we’ve been around here. We try to attack defenses and with our defense, they try to attack their offense. We always have a little bit of things we want to do extra or differently for a certain week, but for the most part, we know what we want to do. We want to improve on the areas that we weren’t good. Whether it was the last week or in the past couple of games and just improve. Definitely a lot of things to improve on, and we’re just going to try and fight to do that.”