Patriots O-line vs. Colts D-line
With all the problems and turnover the Patriots were having in the receiving corps early on, the offensive line stepped up and provided Tom Brady and his targets to develop timing by not letting the pass rush get to the quarterback. On the season, Brady was sacked 40 times, the 10th-lowest total in the league, and threw 11 interceptions, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. The Patriots lost tackle Sebastian Vollmer for the season when he suffered a broken leg Oct. 27 against the Dolphins, but were able to produce with the “next man up” attitude. Guard Logan Mankins had an especially strong season, being named to the Pro Bowl, as he provided stability across the line, even sliding over to tackle when the team needed him there.
The Colts defensive line was overshadowed by the sensational year of linebacker Robert Mathis, who led the league with 19.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles. The defensive line had trouble stopping the run, and the team as a whole combined for 42 sacks, tied for 11th in the league.
In their 2012 meeting, the Colts defensive line had no sacks and just one quarterback hit on Brady, and against the Chiefs in the playoffs this year, the line had one sack — by Ricky Jean-François — and just two quarterback hits.