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News Blitz 1/10: Hulk Hogan preaches that the Patriots will dominate

Posted Jan 10, 2014

In this edition of the Patriots.com News Blitz, Hulk Hogan provides another video to pump the Patriots up and we preview some of the key match-ups in Saturday's game.

Hulk Hogan is at it again. On the eve of the Patriots' playoff match-up against the Indianapolis Colts, Hogan released a second video showing his love for Matthew Mulligan and his Patriots.

"The Patriots will be successful in every endeavor," believes Hogan. "The Patriots will dominate every time on the field!" Lets just hope he's right!

One person that would agree with Hogan -- maybe not quite to the same extent -- is NFL.com columnist, Adam Schein. Schein believes it's almost certain that the Patriots will be playing at MeLife Stadium in February.

"The Patriots' ride has been remarkable, especially considering their true lack of sizzle and a relative talent deficiency," says Schein. "And it happened because Brady and Belichick are the ultimate deodorant."

But lets not get ahead of ourselves. In order for the Patriots to get to the Super Bowl, they will have to beat the Colts on Saturday first -- a task that will not be as easy as some may think. Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald broke down all the match-ups in Saturday's game and lists which team has the edge at each position. ESPN Analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback, Steve Young also gives his take on the Colts and Patriots.

With the weather expected to be very rainy around game time, one of the biggest keys to the game will likely be the running backs. And Comcast Sports Net's Phil Perry says LeGarrette Blount is ready and eager to run in the rain again. In addition to the run game, another important match-up will be how well the Patriots defensive line fairs against Andrew Luck. NESN's Doug Kyed notes that New England's defense will need to find a balance between pressuring the Colts quarterback and containing him. Luck can be very dangerous when running with the football so it is crucial for Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich to contain him in the pocket.

With the conditions expected to be very poor on Saturday night, Tom Brady will have to rely heavily on short passes. That means a lot of looks for Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe believs this is Amendola's time to shine. Gasper mentions that Amendola's time in New England has not been as perfect as many expected, but that he has a chance to earn the love and respect of Patriots fans if he can perform well where Wes Welker struggled -- the postseason.

With less than 36 hours until gametime, ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss offers up his projected inactives for the Patriots. Reiss expects Chris Barker, Jake Bequette, Michael Buchanan, Aaron Dobson, Justin Green, Isaac Sopoaga, and D.J. Williams to be among the innactives for the Saturday's game. If he is correct, none of these should come as a surprise to anyone.

Speaking of injuries, Rob Gronkowski's surgery to repair his injured right knee was successful. The Providence Journal posted an update quoting a tweet by Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

"With Rob & Gordy in Pensacola. Good news the surgery is over. Dr Andrews said it went very well," read Rosenhaus' tweet.

The Patriots season has been one littered with injuries. Ben Volin wrote an article in the Boston Globe on New England's 'next-man-up' mindset. He quotes CBS commentator Dan Dierdorf saying, "Sometimes you look at the Patriots adn you say they're being held together with duct tape. And to think that they finished 12-4 and earned a bye and are sitting at home waiting for the Colts, you can't look at the Patriots without a great deal of admiration."

One player who's fought through the injuries is Logan Mankins. Mankins is widely known as one of the toughest player in the league; certainly the toughest on New England's roster. Mark Farinella wrote an article in the Sun Chronicle that talks about Mankins toughness and determination. Farinella says that Mankins chief motivation is to finally earn his first Super Bowl Ring.

Greg Bedard wrote a wonderful profile on Shane Vereen on Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback section. Vereen is yet another Patriot player who has had to battled the injury bug in 2013 and Bedard notes his toughness. It's easy to forget that in week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, Vereen totaled 159 yards and received seven catchs while playing with a broken bone in his left wrist. Vereen has since come back to have a great season and is now one of the most important pieces to the Patriots offense, especially with Rob Gronkowski gone.

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