The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


January 11, 2014

Colts ready to battle Pats, elements


Julian Edelman has emerged as Brady's go-to receiver with 105 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns. And youngsters Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have grown into their roles as the season has progressed.

But Dobson will miss tonight's game with a foot injury, leaving New England to reshuffle the deck yet again.

"For me, over the course of playing a few years, we lost certain guys at certain points in the year," Brady said. "I think the main thing is just to try to figure out what you need to do as an offense to still be productive."

Indianapolis has been through the same process — losing tight end Dwyane Allen and wide receiver Reggie Wayne to season-ending injuries. Young receivers Da'Rick Rogers, Griff Whalen and LaVon Brazill have made plays in recent weeks, but Hilton has become the focus of the Colts' attack.

That's by design, with Indianapolis making a concerted effort to get the ball into Hilton's hands more often on short and intermediate routes. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton also has moved the diminutive wide receiver around, forcing defenses to play a sort of shell game to find him before the snap.

"I think T.Y. is so dynamic that he can make plays in so many different parts of the field, outside, slot, inside," quarterback Andrew Luck said. "For him to keep moving around and keep things fresh in a sense so you don't get a read on where he's going to be exactly every play has worked and is good."

The weather could limit some of the deep strikes Luck and Hilton have made downfield, however. And the Colts might be tempted to test the interior of a New England defense that has lost nose tackle Vince Wilfork and inside linebackers Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes to injury.

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