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Patriots vs Colts: five players to watch in Week 15 NFL matchup

Saturday Night Football sees the New England Patriots visit the Indianapolis Colts, a team Bill Belichick's men haven't lost to in over a decade.

Update:
Patriots vs Colts: five players to watch in Week 15 NFL matchup
Julio AguilarGetty Images

The New England Patriots have won their last eight games against Indianapolis, last losing to the Colts back in Week 10 of the 2009 NFL season. It’s a run that Frank Reich and co. are out to end when they host the Patriots in Week 15 on Saturday night, as they seek a victory that would boost their prospects of making the postseason.

Another statistic that points to a Patriots win, however, is that Bill Belichick’s men - who will clinch their playoff spot if they beat the Colts and results elsewhere go their way - are undefeated on the road this season.

Here are the five players to watch in the game between the Patriots and the Colts:

See also:

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts

The following stat should tell you all you need to know about Jonathan Taylor’s importance to the Colts’ offence: according to figures compiled by the NFL, the running back has amassed 1,684 yards from scrimmage this season, a total that represents 35.2% of the Colts’ overall yards.

No other player in the rest of the league reaches 30%. What’s more, Taylor is responsible for 18 of Indianapolis’ 42 touchdowns.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Patriots

With Damien Harris sidelined by a knee problem, Belichick will look to rookie Rhamondre Stevenson to lead the away team’s ground offence.

Given the number of plays he’s been involved in, Stevenson has been extraordinarily productive. Per Pro Football Reference, the running back has seen action in 185 offensive snaps - 32% of the Patriots’ total - and has registered 546 yards and three touchdowns from 112 touches.

Carson Wentz, QB, Colts

Carson Wentz has come up against a rookie quarterback 10 times in his career, and will do so again on Saturday when he faces Mac Jones. According to NFL Stats, the Colts QB has come away with victory on eight occasions, has lost once and tied once. That gives him the league's third-best win percentage against rookies.

This year, Wentz has taken on David Mills of the Houston Texans in Week 6 and Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10, with both games ending in a win for the Colts. The veteran must take good care of the ball if he’s to beat another rookie.

Mac Jones, QB, Patriots

Jones has been the best of the rookie quarterbacks so far. The 23-year-old has led the Patriots to a run of seven wins in a row, throwing for 1,397 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s also the only rookie to have attempted 100 or more throws and completed over 70% of them.

Bobby Okereke, LB, Colts

Okereke has established himself as a starter in his third year as a professional, impressing for Indianapolis. The linebacker has played 98% of the Colts’ defensive snaps and is the team’s leading tackler, with 107. The Stanford product is one of AS’ players to watch as he’ll be kept very busy trying to stop New England’s ground offence.

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