WHERE: Frankfurt Stadium | Frankfurt, Germany
Guten tag! There is another game overseas, and for the second time ever, it will be in Frankfurt.
The New England Patriots are trying to find a way to get back on track after another crushing loss, this time against the Washington Commanders, in Week 9. Mac Jones is running out of chances to show that he can lift this offense up.
Here are three things to watch for when the Colts face off against the Patriots in Frankfurt, Germany:
- Gardner Minshew hopes to get Colts to .500 again. There have been ups and downs this season for Indy, but Minshew has come to the rescue for the most part. After some rocky matchups, the 27-year-old quarterback is coming off a win against the Panthers to snap Indy out of a three-game losing streak. Now, Minshew will be facing off against a Patriots defense ranked 21st against the pass. Minshew is coming off a 127-yard showing against a Panthers defense that statistically has been far tougher against the pass than the Pats. He played turnover-free ball and managed a win. Minshew's top target has been receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who has 58 receptions for 593 yards and three touchdowns while averaging a career-high 6.4 receptions and 65.9 yards per game. Minshew's previous international start came with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9 of the 2019 season. Though Minshew threw for 309 yards, he had no touchdowns, four turnovers and the Jags lost, 26-3. Just as he's hoping the Colts will end this week without a losing record, he's looking to improve to even up his record internationally.
- Mac Jones is running out of time. The 2-7 Patriots have the worst record in the AFC. Although the blame is not entirely placed on Jones, something needs to change, and fast. In Week 9 against the Commanders, Jones completed 24 of 44 passes for 220 yards, one touchdown, and one INT that ended the Patriots' comeback hopes. It is not all terrible, though, with the Patriots offensive line not letting Jones get sacked once. However, that O-line will be going up against a defensive line that is tied for the seventh-most sacks this season (25). Through nine starts, Jones is 28th in the NFL in record (2-7), 27th in yard per attempt (6.1), 27th in TD:INT ration (10:9) and tied for 28th in giveaways (11). This will be another test to see if the 25-year-old QB can turn things around in a season of struggles.
- Stevenson, Taylor, Moss all look to make a statement. Can Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson carry some of that momentum from Week 9 and bring it with him into Germany? Stevenson had nine carries for 87 yards and one 64-yard TD run against the Commanders that would’ve been the highlight of the day if the Pats were able to seal the win. The 25-year-old RB had a season-high 129 scrimmage yards and has proved that he is an asset for New England's offense -- he leads the Patriots with 609 scrimmage yards in 2023. Now, for Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, this is a game where he can shine like he has in years past, but he also has teammate Zack Moss taking snaps. Nonetheless, the duo is one of three to both average 50 or more rushing YPG in five games, per NFL Research. Taylor has 62 carries for 254 rushing yards and one TD in five games, while Moss has 132 carries for 615 rushing yards and five rushing TDs in eight games. This could be a game full of highlights from the running backs.