Patriots recap: Brady, Pats take down Colts
The New England Patriots continued their undefeated start to the season on Sunday night with a huge emotional win over the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 34-27, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Heading into the game, many Patriots fans were a bit overzealous in expecting a 40 point victory, due to the fact that they have had their way with Colts coach Chuck Pagano in the previous four match ups. Furthermore, many thought because the Colts were the team that essentially started the whole, “Deflate-gate” controversy, that the Patriots were going to try and humiliate Indianapolis in accordance with their, “Scorched earth campaign.”
Indianapolis did not play like the soft team that they have proven to be in past performances against New England.
On the first series of the game, Andrew Luck was methodical in taking the Colts offense 89 yards down the field, with the drive lasting almost half of the first quarter. The drive was capped off with a phenomenal touchdown throw to Donte Moncrief on fourth down inside the five yard-line. Malcolm Butler had great coverage on Moncrief, Luck just put it in the spot that only his receiver could get it.
Chuck Pagano made it a point of emphasis to not hold back and pull out all stops for this game. His confidence, eventually came back to bite him in the end.
Tom Brady and the Patriots offense answered the bell, and silenced the raucous Indianapolis crowd with a ten play, 80 yard drive ending with a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman.
The key play on the drive was a quick catch-and-run to Danny Amendola for 24 yards, that put the Patriots at the Colts 12 yard line.
Brady then avoided pressure, stepped up in the pocket and found Edelman across the middle of the field for the touchdown. He did a great job at holding onto the ball while getting rocked by the safety.
The Patriots defense then forced the Colts off the field after three plays. The offense went 69 yards down the field, but could not execute and were forced to kick a 40 yard field goal.
The Patriots then stopped the Colts again, and looked to be taking control of the game. However, the Colts were sparkplugged by Julian Edelman. On the second play of the drive, with the Patriots at their own 10, Brady found Edelman open towards the side line and the ball ricocheted of his chest and into the hands of Colts safety Mike Adams, taken back for a touchdown. Many believed it was due to Edelman hurting his finger on his earlier touchdown.
The pick-six did not derail the Patriots, seeing how the offense went 65 yards in four plays scoring on a 38 yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount, who was set up by tremendous blocking by his offensive line, putting the Patriots up 17-14.
Andrew Luck, however, kept his team in the game by performing up to his billing for once against the Patriots. The Patriots defense failed to get off the field twice on third down, allowing Luck to keep the ball for almost seven minutes.
The drive ended with a great play by Luck avoiding the rush and putting the ball only where TY Hilton could get it for a touchdown.
The offense of the Patriots ran the two-minute drill almost perfectly getting inside the red zone in under two minutes. The drive was highlighted by a perfectly blocked screen play to Danny Amendola on third and 19 that resulted in a first down.
Brady found tight end Scott Chandler in the end zone for what appeared to be a touchdown. However, Chandler was called for a blatant push off and the offense once again had to settle for a field goal. The Colts took a 21-20 lead into halftime.
With the Patriots getting the ball back to start the second half, Tom Brady took the offense down the field in seven plays in just over four minutes.
Josh McDaniels clearly drew it up at halftime to get the tight ends involved as Scott Chandler and Rob Gronkowski both had a multitude of big plays on the possession, the biggest coming from Rob Gronkowski as he shook of some jams and found himself in the open field for a 25 yard touchdown. He capped his touchdown off with a ferocious spike.
The Patriots clock management at the end of the first half and into the start of the second allowed them to force a 10 point swing in the game.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the game came within the final two minutes of the third quarter when it appeared as though the Colts were setting up to punt after the Patriots had an impressive stop. Chuck Pagano tried to get fancy and attempted to confuse the Patriots punt return team by shifting nine players to the right side of the field, leaving only two players in the middle of the field.
There was mass confusion as to what the Colts were doing, and Griff Whalen ended up snapping the ball to Colt Anderson who was swarmed by multiple Patriots defenders.
That play essentially shifted all momentum to the Patriots for the rest of the game. The Patriots then proceeded to go down the field in a matter of minutes, with Tom Brady rolling out of the pocket and finding LeGarrett Blount wide open for the touchdown.
With the score being 34-21, the game wasn’t over, but the life was sucked out of Lucas Oil Stadium. Nobody could get over the extremely questionable play call by Chuck Pagano.
Here are some reactions: Ben Volin from The Boston Globe…
ESPN tweeted out…
ESPN’s Skip Bayless also got into the action…
What was THAT? — Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 19, 2015
In the second half the Patriots defense essentially won the game. They held the Colts offense scoreless on six straight possessions, giving up only a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game. Chandler Jones and Dominique Easley had key sacks on Andrew Luck and the pocket was collapsing on him constantly.
The Patriots offense struggled to put the game away as the clock winded down. They kept putting the defense on the field having to stop Andrew Luck, and they did a phenomenal job. Had this defense been as bad as the 2011-2012 defense’s that they have been compared to, they would have blown the lead.
The Colts scored with just over a minute left, and the extra point was blocked by Jamie Collins as he freakishly leaped over the long snapper as the ball was snapped.
Rob Gronkowksi recovered the ensuing onside kick, and the game was just about over at that point.
“I thought we could have executed a lot better in a lot of places, run, pass, everything, so that’s what we’ll try to do,” Tom Brady said after the game.
Clearly Tom Brady isn’t ecstatic with his team’s performance and knows that they could have made more of a statement like all fans wanted. Nevertheless, they still got the victory which is all that matters in the end.
Multiple players went down with injuries in this game including LeGarrette Blount, Matthew Slater, Jabaal Sheard, and Marcus Cannon. They will need these players to rest up in the coming week, because a huge battle for first place will be taken place this Sunday at Gillette Stadium when the Patriots square off with Darrell Revis and the New York Jets.