---- — PATRIOTS (6-3) vs. COLTS (6-3)
Today, 4:25 p.m., at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro
TV: Ch. 4 (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)
Radio: 98.5 FM The Sports Hub (Gil Santos and Scott Zolak)
The series: Patriots lead 46-29 Last meeting: Patriots 31, Colts 24, Dec. 4, 2011, at Gillette Stadium Latest line: Pats -10; Over/under total: 53.5
2012 STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
6-3 Record 6-3
1st, AFC East Standings 2nd, AFC South
430.3 (1) Offense 387.3 (5)
146.0 (5) Rushing 109.4 (14)
284.3 (7) Passing 277.9 (8)
382.1 (25) Defense 350.6 (18)
96.8 (9) Rushing 120.3 (22)
285.3 (29) Passing 230.2 (15)
+16 Turnover margin -9
BY THE NUMBERS
3 — Games in which the Pats have recorded 30 or more first downs this season, the first time since the AFL-NFL merger that a team has down it in three straight games.
6 — With his TD catch last week, Rob Gronkowski now has at least one touchdown in six career games against Buffalo.
200 — This week’s game will be the 200th straight sellout for the club, a streak that dates back to the 1994 season opener. By the way, if the Patriots win today, it will be the team’s 200th regular-season victory since 1994 as well. Bill Belichick is two wins shy of becoming the game’s eighth 200-game winner as a head coach.
2 — Former Patriots chipping in to help out the Colts secondary. They are starting corner Darius Butler and reserve safety/special teamer Sergio Brown.
79.1 — Season passer rating for Andrew Luck, who many have dubbed the next big thing. That number places him 26th, right between Michael Vick and Cam Newton (last year’s “next big thing”).
105 — Games in a row that Reggie Wayne has had at least one catch.
139 — Games in a row that kicker Adam Vinatieri has scored at least one point.
Keys to a Patriots victory
1. Aqib to lead — The Pats need the new guy, Aqib Talib, to take charge in the secondary and make strides toward helping everyone look better.
2. Find Reggie — Reggie Wayne, even at 163-years-old, is still a dangerous pass-catching threat. Now in his 12th season, Wayne has 69 catches on the year.
3. Rookie wake-up call — Partially because Matt Patricia’s “game-plan” took them off the field and partially because they’ve struggled lately, Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower haven’t been from much at all lately. It’s time for these two to find their second wind.
Hector Longo’s prediction: Patriots 38, Colts 35 (6-3 straight up; 3-6 vs. the spread)
Analysis: The last seven meetings between these two teams have been separated by a touchdown or less. Why should that change now? The rookie, Andrew Luck, is going to have a day. I just see Brady and the Pats offense as just a little bit better.