Patriots

Highs and Lows: Not A Full Effort

By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
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Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots catches a touchdown pass against the defense of David Caldwell #30 of the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots catches a touchdown pass against the defense of David Caldwell #30 of the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Levan Reid Levan Reid
Levan Reid is a veteran sports reporter who has joined the W...
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FOXBORO (CBS) –  WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid breaks down the Patriots-Colts matchup at Gillette Stadium.

Fourth Quarter/Final Thoughts

The Highs

The Patriots got up big and then let the Colts get back in this one. Indy put up a bit of a fight early on, and then again in the final frame with 21 unanswered points, but the Patriots came away with the win away thanks to the Brady-Gronkowski connection. The two cannot be stopped. Gronkowski has 13 touchdown receptions and he added a rushing touchdown (on a lateral) today.

Brady played Mr. Distributor as usual, hitting seven different receivers.

Wes Welker led the way with 11 receptions for 114 yards, and went over 90-receptions for the season for the fourth time in his career.

Watch: Gronk Doesn’t Mind Rushing TD

The defense was good for three quarters, even though it came against the now 0-12 Colts. Matthew Slater took some snaps at safety, and helped force a fumble. Jerod Mayo added a pic in the fourth quarter, the first of his career.

Devin McCourty returned after a two-game absence with a separated shoulder and looked decent. There is some rust to shake off, and he still hasn’t snapped out of his sophomore slump. But in the end the defense as a whole did their part and the Patriots are now 9-3.

The Lows

-The team did not give a full 60-minutes, and Bill will let them know it.

“We obviously have to do a better job finishing the game. That was disappointing,” Belichick said in his brief postgame press conference.

“We played good for 45-minutes and didn’t do anything in the fourth quarter. We’ll hear about that tomorrow,” Brady said after the game.

The offense and defense both struggled in the fourth quarter, as the Colts scored 21-unanswered points.

- Donald Brown ran in a fourth quarter touchdown, a play that McCourty was supposed to be on the run support. He took a bad angle, and let the UConn product score for his fourth touchdown of the season. Still some rust on McCourty, but it was his first game in two weeks so we’ll give him some slack.

- The Pats D fell asleep and let Orlovsky hit Pierre Garcon on third down for a 33-yard touchdown. The two hooked up again for a big gain and then a touchdown over McCourty in the final minute. Problems in the secondary continue, but at least they are giving up most of their points in garbage time and it hasn’t hurt them too much (minus that Giants game…).

- Brady missed on a third and four to Wes Welker, only picking up three yards on the play. Brady was not happy with the three-and-out, and showed it on the way to the bench. The Pats went three-and-out again on their following possession, Brady’s last of the afternoon.

Final: Patriots 31- Colts 24

Third Quarter

The Highs

- Pats get the ball to start the quarter and they score.  A Tom Brady to Welker drive mostly, that ends with a td pass to Rob Gronkowski. That’s Gronk’s 13th of the season, tying him for a NFL tight end record.

- Colts First possession of the quarter and the Pats force a fumble.  Matthew Slater and Jerod Mayo force it and Kyle Arrington recovers it.  Pats defense big again and the offense gets the ball back.

GameDay: Nothing Easy For Pats Molden

- Off that turnover, the Pats get get in the endzone again.  Rob Gronkowski gets his 14th touchdown of the season, but this one isn’t through the air. They scored it a lateral, so it is no NFL record (yet).

The Lows:

- Nothing really bad in this quarter.  Couple of penalties and miscued but I would be nit picking.

Patriots lead 31-3 after three….

Second Quarter

The Highs:

- Pats defense starts the quarter on the field and they get the job done.  The Colts have to settle for a field goal.  Rob Ninkovich with a big sack on third and goal.

- Colts second possession of the quarter and the Pats defense holds.  3 and out.  Nate Jones with a tipped pass on third down.

- Pats offense’s second possession of the quarter and they get on the board.  A 16 play drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski.  The Pats overcame third downs and even got Ocho into the mix.  It’s Brady’s 290th career touchdown pass, tying him for seventh all time with Johnny Unitas.

Stats: Pats-Colts Box Score

- Colts get the ball for their third possession of the quarter and the Pats force them to kick and leave 1:38 of the clock for Tom and the offense to get something going.

- Pats work the clock to end the quarter and they get a tocuhdown.  Completions to Branch, Underwood, Welker, Faulk.  It ends with a one yard touchdown run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

The Lows:

- The scoring drive that put the Colts on the board was 19 plays and they held the ball for over 10 minutes.  The Pats defense has to be better than that against this team.

- Pats first possession of the quarter and they punt.  A questionable play call on third and two.  The Pats go for a home run ball to Deion Branch.  He was being defended by someone  five inches taller.

- Pats start their two minute drive to end the quarter.  Brady hits Ocho and he drops the ball.

17 to 3 Pats at the half

First Quarter

The Highs:

- Not sure good or bad, but Matthew Slater started the game on the Pats defense.  He’s playing safety, along with the newly signed Nate Jones. The Colts got the ball first, but the drive did not net much. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork comes up with a sack on Dan Orlovsky on third down to get the Pats D off the field.

- Wes Welker has a reception for the 90th straight game.

Read: Pats-Colts Predictions

- Pats first offensive drive and they get on the board.  Only three here, but they were able to move the ball down the field.

The Lows:

- Kevin Faulk fumbles the ball on the Pats first possession.  It was reviewed and the Pats were able to get the ball back, but that miscue took the Pats out of their rhythm and allowed the Colts to get a breath.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

- Colts have the ball for the second time this quarter and they are going to get on the board.  Indy is on a drive that ends the quarter with the ball at the one.  The Pats defense can’t get off the field on third downs and they are getting killed on slant patterns.  Not to mention, the Colts are eating up the clock and keeping Tom Brady on the sidelines.

Pats up 3-0 after one

Stay tuned after the Patriots-Colts game for all the reaction and analysis on the postgame show on 98.5 The Sports Hub and on Patriots Fifth Quarter on WBZ-TV.

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