When it come to defense the Patriots will need to stop the Colts on 3rd down. This has been something the Patriots have struggled with all season as their opponents have been successful 42.2% of the time. While this puts them as one of the worst defenses in the NFL, they have amazingly stayed in the top ten in regards to points given up. While the bend but don't break philosophy has worked well in the past, the best way to win is to keep the opposing punter busy. During the regular season the Colts have been successful on converting third down 37.6% of the time.
THREE AND OUTS- The offense needs to avoid these at all costs to keep momentum with the offense and away from Luck. Of the Patriots 201 drives this season 37 of them resulted in a three and out. This is one of the best percentages in the league. Although they aren't technically three and outs the Patriots also need to avoid the 4 and and outs and five and outs that don't result in points. In their loss against the Bengals the Patriots had 8 of 12 drives last less than 7 plays and not result in any points. 9 of their 13 drives against the Jets were also over in that time frame.
NUMBER THREE- Kicker Stephen Gostkowski wears #3 and needs to have a good game. When given the opportunity to score points he needs to split the uprights. He also needs to send the ball threw the endzone consistently.