What experts are predicting for Sunday’s Patriots-Colts game

The Patriots are decent favorites to win Sunday's game, and many experts expect them to improve to 5-4.

Mac Jones hopes to get his first career win against the Colts after losing to them last season. AP Photo/Aaron Doster

Just about halfway through the season, the 4-4 New England Patriots are probably about where you should expect. 

But it doesn’t get any easier. 

After welcoming the sad Colts to Gillette Stadium this weekend, the remaining, combined win-loss record of the Patriots’ opponents during the second half of the season is, currently, 27-18. Take away the Raiders and Cardinals and that record improves to 22-8. Realistically, the Patriots might have four more wins (Jets, Cardinals, Raiders, Bengals) the rest of the way to potentially finish 8-9 on the season. 

Which, if you’ve watched this team at all over its first eight games, sounds just about right. 


If the playoffs began today, which they don’t, the Patriots would be just on the outside looking in, beat out by the San Diego (I know) Chargers for the final AFC wild card spot. That doesn’t seem like too dire of a predicament, especially with Brandon Staley running the show in Los Angeles, but have you watched Mac Jones? 

Of course, if the Patriots were in the NFC South, they’d be tied with the Atlanta Falcons for first place. If they were in the NFC East, they’d be tied with the Washington Commanders, right on the bubble. 

New England has a chance to really surprise in the second half. Maybe the Week 10 bye is just the break it needs to make a run. 

We just probably should know what to expect. 

This week’s predictions:

Globe staff: Four of six pick New England (-5.5). 

Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub: Patriots. “Believe it or not, the Colts aren’t out of it yet. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for an organization that has botched the quarterback position more than any team in the league recent years – including the Patriots – Indy is your club. There was a time when I thought Frank Reich was the proverbial power behind the throne in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl over the Patriots a few years back, but now I wonder. Murray likes the Pats here. Felger likes the Colts with the points. I have serious concerns about how the Colts are going to score in this game and my fear is that Indy has already gone into tanking mode. As such, I’m (foolishly?) joining Murray and taking the Patriots. But as I’ve learned from Super Tuesday, I never feel good following Murray anywhere.”


Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Patriots 21, Colts 17. “The Patriots impressed in beating the Jets on the road last week, while the Colts lost to Washington in Sam Ehlinger’s first start. The Colts just haven’t been good on offense all year, no matter who plays quarterback. But they did show some signs of life last week. The Patriots haven’t been much better on offense, but I think their defense will win this one. It’s close.”

CBS Sports staff: Six of eight pick New England (-5.5). 

Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Patriots 26, Colts 16. “Did anyone notice that an NFL team fired its offensive coordinator at the mid-point of the season? The Colts did, and they were averaging more yards and points than the Steelers. This would be an easy one if you knew which Patriots would show up.”

ESPN staff: All Pats. 

Michael Hurley, CBS Boston: Patriots (-5.5). “I don’t really know what to make of the Patriots, but I like their chances against Sam Ehlinger making his second career appearance just five days after the firing of his offensive coordinator. Feels like a good spot for Bill Belichick, to be honest.”

Jimmy Kempski, Philly Voice: Patriots (-5.5). “I don’t like this Patri*ts roster, but I do trust Bill Belichick in any game against a young, not super gifted quarterback like Sam Ehlinger.” 


Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: Colts (+5.5). “Even though the Patriots won and covered against the Jets last week, there are still questions about their defense. The Colts have plenty of questions too, but I think they’ll find a way to keep it close even if they don’t win.” 

Sheil Kapadia, The Ringer: Patriots (-5.5). “The Patriots got a road win against the Jets last week, but their offense still looks sloppy and disjointed. Mac Jones averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt in that game. He threw one interception and easily could’ve had a couple more. On the season, the Patriots offense ranks 23rd in expected points added (EPA) per drive. There’s a scenario in which the Colts defense produces a couple of takeaways and keeps this game close, but Sam Ehlinger is making his second career start against Bill Belichick. I’ll take my chances with the Patriots.”

Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News: Patriots 21, Colts 17. “The Colts tried to get an offensive spark from Sam Ehlinger but they didn’t run him enough and didn’t let him throw deep downfield enough to his talented wide receivers. Jonathan Taylor getting hurt again and also fumbling didn’t help. The turnovers still might come here in an ugly game with fellow second-year QB Mac Jones on the other side.”

Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Patriots 25, Colts 17. “The Colts are one of this year’s surprising disasters, and they have averaged 10.5 points per game on the road this season. That won’t cut it against New England, who has re-settled at quarterback with Mac Jones. Sam Ehlinger will show signs of progress, but it won’t be enough to win in Foxborough.” 


Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Patriots 27, Colts 13. “There will be no Indiana banner raising after this one.”

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: Patriots 20, Colts 10. “The Colts benched their quarterback last week and fired their offensive coordinator this week. I think we’ll see in New England that the Colts’ problems go a lot deeper than that.”

FiveThirtyEight: Patriots, 70 percent (-6). 

Gregg Rosenthal, Patriots 20, Colts 17. “The Colts humbled the Patriots a year ago, running all over them to start New England’s late-season slide. It doesn’t appear Indianapolis can pull that off this year with Jonathan Taylor having aggravated his ankle injury behind a faulty offensive line. It’s beyond time for the Patriots to decide who their best offensive players are, rather than constantly rotating and trying out different styles each week, with Mac Jones suddenly running RPOs against the Jets. Nothing is consistent enough about the Pats to make them heavy favorites, but the Colts’ offense is consistently bad no matter who is at quarterback.”

NFL Pickwatch: Ninety-four percent Patriots (-230). 

It says here: Patriots 15, Colts 3. Someday we’ll tell our grandkids about the fierce rivalry that once existed here. This one, in no way, will resemble that.


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