In the much-anticipated quarterback tussle, Manning edges Brady by as close a margin as the simulated score would indicate. In the predicted boxscore Colts’ signal-caller averages about 16 more yards per game, though both players have about the same chance of throwing two touchdown passes and one interception. Surprisingly, despite the struggles in the run game, it’s the backs that have the best chance of finding the end zone. New England’s Laurence Maroney scores a touchdown just slightly more than Joseph Addai, but each of them average more touchdowns than anyone else on their team.
It all adds up to what should turn out to be the latest close matchup between Brady’s Patriots and Manning’s Colts. In 10,000 simulations, Indianapolis remains unbeaten 52% of the time by an average score of 27-25. Giving three points, Indianapolis beats the spread at less than a 48% clip and with the total at 49.5, the teams go over the total just less than 55% of the time.
5. Match up to watch: Patriots WR Randy Moss vs. Colts CB Jerraud Powers: Moss’ combination of size, strength and athleticism could be too much for Powers, an undersized rookie. Powers does have excellent quickness and speed, but his lack of experience and size should be glaring in this battle. We’ll likely see Powers get help (from a nickelback or safety) for much of the contest.
Both Brady and Manning are forecasted to play well with passer ratings over 90, but Manning is committing fewer turnovers giving the Colts the 60 percent edge. Manning has a 49 percent chance of throwing no INTs while Brady has a 43 percent chance of doing the same. If the Colts beat up secondary can pick off Brady at least once the Colts are solid 68 percent favorites. However, if Brady has no INTs and Laurence Maroney can average over 5 ypc the Patriots are 57 percent favorites. Expect plenty of receptions from your key fantasy receivers. Wes Welker, Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark all are averaging 6+ receptions per simulation.