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Mailbag: Are Colts currently better than Patriots?

Mike Wells: I'd say yes if we're strictly basing it off how each team looks on paper. The New England Patriots' top three cornerbacks from last season -- Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington -- are all gone. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork is gone, too. The Indianapolis Colts, meanwhile, added players who will help them next season. Receiver Andre Johnson, running back Frank Gore, offensive lineman Todd Herremans, linebacker Trent Cole and defensive lineman Kendall Langford are just a few new additions the Colts made. But of course games aren't played on paper. The Patriots have owned the Colts during Luck's first three seasons, beating by an average of 29 points in the past four games. This is the season for the Colts to move ahead of the Patriots in the AFC.

Wells: It's way too early to put any kind of number prediction on Frank Gore, but he'll definitely play an important part in the offense. He has to so that defenses can't sit back and wait for the Colts to pass the ball. The Colts will continue to be a pass-first team with quarterback Andrew Luck and weapons he has available at receiver and tight end. If Gore's playing history is any indication, he'll have a successful season. He's rushed at least 1,000 yards in eight of his 10 NFL seasons. The Colts finally have a running back who is capable of helping them move the chains on the ground. Unlike in the past two seasons when Trent Richardson was the running back.

Wells: That's a question that doesn't have an answer at the moment. Rob Mathis has not talked to the media since last season. I've yet to see him during the open locker room period for the media on Wednesdays during the team's offseason workouts. But I was recently told that Mathis is a regular at the facility and he's working out and rehabbing on a regular basis. One person told me that Mathis is on a mission to prove that he can still be an effective pass-rusher at 34 years old and after coming off a torn Achilles.

Wells: Competition is always good, but I'd be shocked if D'Joun Smith did enough to pass Darius Butler or Greg Toler on the depth chart. The secondary was the strong suit of the Colts' defense last season. They felt comfortable enough to leave Toler and Vonte Davis on islands by themselves at cornerback and Butler is a solid third cornerback who routinely defends slot receivers. Smith is a confident cornerback, though. "Under the right coach who is going to make my technique better, I'll probably be the best cornerback to play the game," he said moments after getting drafted. "I'm not trying to talk arrogant. My passion to be the greatest, my passion to win is [greater] than anybody because I hate losing more than people like to win. I like to compete."