NFL Week 9 picks: Expert predictions for Patriots vs. Colts game originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Yes, it's been 16 years since the Colts last went into Foxboro and defeated the rival Patriots. Peyton Manning beat Tom Brady in the first of two Colts victories over the Patriots during what became a Super Bowl-winning season for Indy.
The Patriots got back on track in Week 8 with a 22-17 win over the New York Jets on the road. The defense forced three turnovers, Nick Folk kicked five field goals and quarterback Mac Jones made enough plays to thwart a late Jets comeback.
Sunday's matchup is a tough spot for the Colts. Their offense will be led by second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who will make just his second career start in Week 9. He completed 13 of 21 pass attempts for 201 yards with zero touchdowns or interceptions in a 17-16 loss to the Washington Commanders last week. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick rarely loses to rookie or second-year QBs, so Ehlinger definitely has his work cut out for him this week. Making matters more difficult for the Colts is the absence of star running back Jonathan Taylor. He won't play in Week 9 because of an ankle injury.
The Patriots are 5.5-point betting favorites to beat the Colts and most experts are predicting a New England victory. On paper, the Patriots shouldn't have too much trouble winning this game. But that also was the expectation entering Week 7 when the Patriots hosted a lackluster 2-4 Chicago Bears team on "Monday Night Football" only to be dominated in an ugly 33-14 loss at home.
Will the Patriots take care of business Sunday? Here's a roundup of Week 9 picks.
Tom E. Curran, NBC Sports Boston: 20-16 Patriots
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: 27-13 Patriots
Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated: Patriots
Bill Bender, Sporting News: 25-17 Patriots
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: 20-17 Patriots
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 21-17 Patriots
Bleacher Report NFL Staff: 24-17 Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots
David Hill, New York Times: Patriots -5.5
Sheil Kapadia, The Ringer: Patriots -5.5
FiveThirtyEight's model: Patriots have 70 percent chance to win