The New England Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts in a primetime Thursday Night Football game this week. It begins a stretch of four primetime games in five weeks with two sets of back-to-back primetime games sandwiched around a trip to Chicago.
Next week, the Patriots host Kansas City in a Sunday Night Football game. Then, following the Bears game on Oct. 21, the Patriots travel to Buffalo for Monday Night Football followed by a Sunday Night game vs. Green Bay at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots have played in back-to-back primetime games 12 times in team history but this is the first time that the Patriots have two sets of back-to-back primetime games in the same season. Pittsburgh and San Francisco also have two sets of consecutive primetime contests in 2018. The last time the Patriots played back-to-back primetime games was in 2015.
Since 2000, only three teams have played more consecutive primetime games than the Patriots - Chicago (14) , Dallas (13) and Pittsburgh (13).
WICKED GOOD IN OCTOBER
Since 2000, the New England Patriots are an NFL-best 57-18 in the month of October - 32-5 at home and 25-12 on the road.
The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts will meet for the first time since Oct. 18, 2015, when New England captured a 34-27 victory at Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football.
The Patriots and Colts will square off on a Thursday night game for the second time. The last time the two played on Thursday was Sept. 9, 2004, when New England hosted Indianapolis in a 27-24 Patriots win.
The two clubs will meet in a regular-season primetime game for the eighth time since 2000 with one Thursday night game, one Monday night game and five Sunday night games.
The two teams share a long rivalry, as the Patriots and the Baltimore/ Indianapolis Colts played twice each year from 1970 to 2001 as members of the AFC East, with the exception of the 1982 strike season.
Since realignment in 2002 with the Colts moving to the AFC South, the teams played in the regular season in every year for 10 straight seasons from 2003 through 2012 with New England with New England holding 6-4 edge. While they did not play in the 2013 regular season, they did face each other in the postseason with the Patriots claiming a 43-22 Divisional Playoff win at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 11, 2014. The rivalry was rekindled with two meetings in 2014, a regular-season game at Indianapolis and the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, both of which were won by New England. Then the clubs met again in 2015 with New England taking Sunday Night Football victory at Indianapolis.
Overall, this week's game will be the 81st meeting between the two teams. The Patriots lead the series with a 47-28 record in the regular season and a 4-1 record in the postseason.
New England holds an overall record of 29-12 when playing at home against the Colts, including a 8-2 record at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots own a 4-1 record overall against Indianapolis in the postseason, including a 4-0 record in playoff games played in New England. Three of the five postseason contests were the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots are 2-1 in those contests.
The clubs have clashed in the playoffs following the 2003, 04, 06, 13 and 14 seasons. The Patriots beat the Colts in the 2003 AFC Championship Game, 24-14, at Gillette Stadium, won 20-3 at Gillette Stadium in a 2004 AFC Divisional Playoff, lost in the 2006 AFC Championship Game, 38-34, at Indianapolis, won in the AFC Divisional meeting 43-22 at Gillette Stadium and took a 45-7 decision in the 2014 AFC Championship Game
TALE OF THE TAPE
|2018 Regular Season||New England||Indianapolis|
|Total Yards Gained||1,349||1,348|
|Total Offense (Rank)||337.3 (23)||337.0 (24)|
|Rush Offense||117.0 (12)||72.0 (29)|
|Pass Offense||220.3 (22)||265.0 (16)|
|Points Per Game||23.8 (15)||23.5 (17t)|
|Total Yards Allowed||1,391||1,509|
|Total Defense (Rank)||347.8 (12)||377.3 (19)|
|Rush Defense||121.5 (27)||109.3 (17t)|
|Pass Defense||226.3 (8)||268.0 (19)|
|Points Allowed/Game||21.0 (12)||25.0 (18)|
|Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost||6/37||9/66|
|Total Touchdowns Scored||11||10|
|Turnover Differential||0 (14t)|
NEW ENGLAND 51, INDIANAPOLIS 29
Record in New England 29-12 (Incl. 4-0 in playoffs)
- Record in Foxborough 29-11 (4-0)
- Record in Boston 0-1
Road Record 22-17 (Incl. 0-1 in playoffs)
- Record in Indianapolis 16-9 (0-1)
- Record in Baltimore 6-8
Largest Margin of Victory 39 points (10/06/74)
Largest Margin of Defeat 31 points (11/26/72)
Longest Winning Streak 7 (1996-99)
Longest Losing Streak 3 (1970-71, 2005-07)
PATRIOTS-COLTS QUICK HITS
- The Patriots and Colts both passed the 1990s San Francisco 49ers for the all-time best wins mark for a decade in NFL history. New England had 126 wins from 2000-09, while Indianapolis had 124 wins over that span. San Francisco had 122 wins in the 1990s
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 15-6 against the Colts as head coach of the Patriots and 17-8 against Indianapolis as a head coach overall.
- The Patriots have averaged 44.6 points against the Colts in the last five meetings overall with a 59-24 win in 2012, a 43-22 victory in the 2013 AFC Divisional playoffs, a 42-20 win in the 2014 regular season, a 45-7 victory in the 2014 AFC Championship Game and a 34-27 win in 2015.
Tom Brady's very first NFL start was against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 30, 2001, at Foxboro Stadium. He finished 13-of-23 for 168 yards in a 44-13 Patriots win. Brady owns a 10-3 record against Indianapolis in the regular season and 4-1 record in the postseason. He has thrown three touchdowns against the Colts in seven regular-season games and one playoff contest. He is 5-2 against Indianapolis in regular-season home games and 4-0 at home in the postseason.
PATRIOTS ON THURSDAY
The Patriots will play on Thursday for the 19th time in team history. New England is 12-6 on Thursday entering this week's contest against the Colts.
BILL BELICHICK ON THURSDAY
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will coach in his 16th Thursday game, including his 15th with the Patriots. Belichick is 12-3 all-time when coaching on Thursday, including 11-3 as head coach of the Patriots.
TOM BRADY ON THURSDAY
Tom Brady is 10-1 as a starter in Thursday games and has passed for 2,872 yards with 24 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
IF THE PATRIOTS WIN...
- The Patriots will earn their 217th victory since 2000, tying San Francisco for the most regular-season wins over two decades (1980s/1990s) in NFL history.
- The Patriots will improve to 52-29 all-time against the Colts, their most common non-divisional opponent, and 48-28 in the regular season.
- The team will boast an 11-4 record (.733) on Thursday Night Football and improve to 73-50 (.593) in primetime games. The Patriots have won their last six Thursday night games with a four-day turnaround from a Sunday game (excludes season openers).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR...
- Since 2000, New England is 48-1 in the regular season when a Patriot eclipses 100 yards rushing. With a 100-yard rusher against the Colts ó who have not allowed an opposing team to do so since Week 15 of the 2017 seasonóthe Patriots would improve to 49-1 with a 100-yard rusher.
- With three touchdown passes, Tom Brady will record the 500th touchdown pass of his career (regular season only), joining Peyton Manning (539) and Brett Favre (508) as the only players in NFL history with 500 or more touchdown passes.
- With two or more touchdown passes against the Colts, Tom Brady (235 - Gillette Stadium) will pass Drew Brees (236 - Mercedes-Benz Superdome) for most regular-season touchdown passes in a single stadium in NFL history. Brett Favre is third with 214 at Lambeau Field.
- If Tom Brady throws a touchdown pass to one new target, he will pass Vinny Testaverde for most touchdown targets in NFL history with 71 (regular season only). Current Patriots who have a touchdown reception from Tom Brady include Dwayne Allen, Rex Burkhead, Phillip Dorsett, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson and James White
- Tom Brady needs 18 yards rushing to reach 1,000 rushing yards on his career.
- With 50 or more receiving yards, Julian Edelman will pass Gino Cappelletti for ninth all-time on the Patriots career receiving yards list.
- With seven receptions, Julian Edelman (425) will move past Kevin Faulk (431) for sixth place in franchise history in receptions.
- If Julian Edelman has one punt return of 30 or more yards, he will tie Troy Brown for most 30-yard punt returns in team history.
- With one touchdown reception, James White will break a tie with Kevin Faulk and move into second place all-time for most receiving touchdowns by a Patriots running back in franchise history with 16 (regular season only). Larry Garron is first with 26 touchdown catches. He will also extend his lead over all running backs in the NFL since 2015, when he became a regular contributor in the offense, for most receiving touchdowns during that time. Detroit's Theo Riddick is second with 10 receiving touchdowns.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by FOX and can be seen locally on WFXT Channel 25. Joe Buck will handle play-by-play duties with Troy Aikman as the color analyst. Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Richie Zyontz and directed by Rich Russo. The game will also air on NFL Network and stream on Amazon.
NATIONAL RADIO: Thursday's game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One. Ian Eagle will call the with game with Tony Boselli providing analysis.
LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 41 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.