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Final: Patriots 59, Colts 24: After the Colts took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, it was all Patriots.
They scored two quick touchdowns thanks to Edelman’s punt return and Talib’s pick-six, and never looked back.
Tom Brady had another 300+ yard day, finishing with 331 yards and three touchdowns. Seven of his 24 completed passes went to Rob Gronkowski, who had two touchdowns and 137 yards through the air. Wes Welker added seven catches for 80 yards, and Edelman chipped in five more for 58 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots improve to 7-3 with the win, putting them in good position heading forward to clinch one of the top two spots in the AFC.
4th Quarter, 2:00 – Patriots 59-24: Tavon Wilson just picked of Andrew Luck for his fourth interception of the season, and the New England victory cigar – Ryan Mallett – has checked in for the Pats.
4th Quarter, 3:50 – Patriots 59-24: The Patriots drove down the field once again, and the starters were still the ones doing it.
The Patriots just ate 3:42 off the clock before Shane Vereen ran in his third touchdown of the season. The 59 points matches a franchise record for the Patriots, tying their 59-point explosion against the Titans during the 2009 season.
If the Patriots do get the ball back in this one, one would have to figure the second unit would step in to finish it off. The Patriots only have three days until their next game, a Thanksgiving night game in New York against the Jets.
4th Quarter, 9:05 – Patriots 52-24: The Patriots offense caps off another touchdown drive, with nearly everyone contributing on this one.
Brady hit Gronkowski for 11 yards on a third-and-eight, and then Wes Welker came down with a beautiful 14-yard catch on the sidelines. That play put Brady over the 300-yard mark for the 51st time in his career, tying him with Dan Fouts for sixth on the all-time list.
On the next play, Edelman took an end-around for 47 yards to the Indy three-yard line, showing that he can do it all. He drew the wrath of Brady last week against Buffalo, but it’s all smiles this week.
Stevan Ridley has had a quiet afternoon, but punched it in from three-yards out for the score to put the Patriots up 52-24. Ridley now has seven rushing touchdowns on the season.
4th Quarter, 12:32 – Patriots 45-24: Luck and Hilton hit on a home run pass for a 43-yard touchdown.
Luck went after Talib again, who was whistled for a PI on the play, and is able to connect with Hilton for the second time this afternoon. Talib has played most of the game to this point, so it’s safe to say he’s fairly tired after sitting out the last four weeks on suspension.
4th Quarter, 14:47 – Patriots 45-17: And just like that, the Patriots pick off Luck again for another touchdown.
This time it was Alfonzo Dennard, who jumped in front of Reggie Wayne for the pick, and brought it back 87-yards to the house.
It’s the first time the Patriots have had two pick-6′s in a game since 2002.
So I guess you can say Andrew Luck has thrown three touchdowns today, except two of them have been to the Patriots.
End of 3rd Quarter – Patriots 38-17: The Patriots have a nice lead, but Andrew Luck is picking them apart.
Luck and the Colts converted on yet another third down, picking up 12 yards on a third-and-10 pass to Wayne. He threw for another 30 yards on two passing plays to get the Colts to the New England 23 as the third quarter comes to a close.
3rd Quarter, 3:22 – Patriots 38-17: The Patriots defense comes up with another third-down stop, and the football.
Rob Ninkovich, who had been around Luck a couple times this afternoon, makes the strip and comes up with the ball. It’s Ninkovich’s fifth forced fumble of the season. He’s also got a sack and four tackles as he bounces back from a rough afternoon against Buffalo last weekend.
Tom Brady wasted no time tacking advantage of the turnover, hitting Rob Gronkowski for a 24-yard touchdown strike to give the Patriots a 38-17 lead. Gronkowski is up to 10 touchdowns this season, and is the first tight end in NFL history to have three straight 10-touchdown seasons.
The Patriots didn’t keep their foot on the gas last weekend against the Bills, and Buffalo made them pay. Getting aggressive after that turnover gives them a three touchdown lead and puts a lot of pressure on the rookie quarterback on the other sideline.
Now it will be up to the Patriots secondary to make some plays the rest of the way.
3rd Quarter, 4:53 – Patriots 31-17: The patriots offense doesn’t do anything, and are forced into a three-and-out deep in their own zone.
Brady went to Welker on third-and-five, but was under heavy pressure by Robert Mathis and threw it short of Welker — who had former Patriots Darius Butler on him.
Zoltan Mesko made his first punt of the afternoon to T.Y. Hilton, who bobbled the ball as he tried to cut back to the left side of the field. He regain possession though, and was pushed out of bounds at the Indy 26.
3rd Quarter 7:09 – Patriots 31-17: The Patriots defense comes up with a stop, thanks to a tip at the line by Vince Wilfork on a Colts third-and-four.
Yes, the Patriots actually got a stop on third down! But a few plays earlier, the Patriots defense gave up another third-down conversion, thanks to the legs of Andrew Luck. Despite having both Wilfork and Ninkovich on him at different times, Luck found Hilton for 16 yards to keep the drive alive.
But a few plays after that, the Pats D had Luck and the Colts facing another third down and came up with the stop thanks to the big mitts of Wilfork.
The Colts are 6-for-10 on third downs so far, so it remains a concern for the Patriots defense. But the latest stop led to a punt, and Brady and company will take over at their own four-yard line.
3rd Quarter, 11:07 – Patriots 31-17: Julian Edelman is making his case for player of the game, scoring his second touchdown of the evening to put the Patriots up 31-17.
On third-and-goal with the ball at the Indy 2-yard line, Brady hit Edelman on a slant to cap off a 10-play, 76-yard drive over 3:53. Edelman is now up to five catches for 58 yards, and his punt return.
Edelman also picked up a big first down on a third-and-11 to keep the scoring drive alive, taking a screen 17 yards. A few plays later, Brady hit Gronkowski for a 31-yard catch-and-run to the Indy seven-yard line.
Gronkowski now has 102 yards on five receptions, his third 100+ yard game of the season and ninth of his career. That ties him with Ben Coates for most 100+ receiving yard games by a tight end in Patriots history.
The Patriots offense put together a very nice drive that ended with seven more points on the scoreboard.
Halftime – Patriots 24-17: The Patriots defense gave up some yards, but they kept the Colts off the scoreboard in the end and walk off the field with a 24-17 lead at the half.
Dennard made a nice break up on the first play of the drive, but the Patriots were picked apart over the middle. Luck completed three passes over the middle for 39 yards, including another third down conversion. For the half, the Colts went 5-for-8 on third downs.
But the Colts didn’t get anything out of it, as Adam Vinatieri misses a 58-yard attempt as the clock expires.
Brady has 181 yards for the game and one touchdown, with Luck throwing for 159 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
The Patriots did it on all three phases in the first half, scoring an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown. It’s the first time they’ve done that since October 4, 2010 against the Miami Dolphins.
2nd Quarter, 1:54 – Patriots 24-17: The Patriots offense went 32 minutes between snaps, but it didn’t look like it affected them too much.
Brady and the Patriots marched down the field 62 yards before stalling on the Indy 13 and had to settle for a 31-yard field goal. Brady went 3-for-5 on the drive, hitting Gronk for 15 yards, Welker for 18, and Lloyd for another 15 before throwing two incomplete passes in the red zone.
The Patriots haven’t been able to get their run game going, but Shane Vereen had a nice 14 yard run for a first down midway through the drive.
2nd Quarter, 5:46- Patriots 21-17: The Patriots keep the Colts out of the end zone, but old friend Adam Vinatieri pulls them a little closer with a 47-yard field goal.
The Colts were 1-for-2 on third downs on the drive, with Luck hitting Brazill over the middle who took it 21 yards to the Patriots 41.
Indy look poised to find the end zone on the drive, but Devin McCourty made a nice nice play on second-and-10 to break up a Luck pass to Brazill. Talib was burnt on play, but a nice hit by McCourty broke it up.
On the ensuing third-and-10, Jermaine Cunningham applied some solid pressure on Luck, forcing him to the throw the ball a second or two earlier and it fell incomplete deep down the field.
The Patriots defense made some plays on the drive, but are still very inconsistent. But their stops on the drive has the Patriots up by four as we approach halftime.
2nd Quarter, 11:16 – Patriots 21-14: Talib makes up for earlier mistakes, and does so in a big way.
Talib picked off Andrew Luck’s pass to Reggie Wayne and brought it back 59-yards to put the Patriots up 21-14. The pick itself wasn’t anything special, with Luck throwing it right at him, but the corner made some nice zig-zags across the field to finish off the pick-six.
He looked a bit lost and even slow on the field leading up to the pick, but that’s got to give him plenty of confidence moving forward.
That’s two touchdowns for the Patriots in 56 seconds.
2nd Quarter, 12:14 – 14-14: So much for bored punters.
On the first punt of the afternoon, Julian Edelman makes a couple of nice cuts and returns it 68-yards to tie the game at 14. The Patriots set a great wall for Edelman, who broke a pair of tackles at the end to high-step into the end zone. It’s Edelman’s third career punt return over his four-year career.
Former Patriots safety Sergio Brown was whistled for a hold on Indy’s first punt attempt, setting up the return by Edelman.
Following the missed field goal, the Patriots defense comes out and forces a three-and-out, thanks to a blitzing Alfonzo Dennard on third down. Dennard came from Luck’s left side and batted down the pass as it was leaving the QB’s hands.
Rookie linebacker Dont’a Hightower also made a nice play on second down, knocking down Luck’s pass over the middle intended for Reggie Wayne.
2nd Quarter, 12:26 – Colts 14-7: The Patriots get nothing after driving the ball down into Colts territory.
Stephen Gostkowski, who was a perfect 3-for-3 against the Bills last week, sent a 36-yard attempt wide right for his fourth miss of the season. Gostkowski had made 11 in a row until that miss.
Julian Edelman has been a big part of the New England offense so far, seeing four passes come his way. Edelman has caught three of those passes for 39 yards.
End of 1st Quarter – Colts 14-7: That was quick. And as expected, so far this one is all about offense.
Brady already has 110 yards through the air, with Rob Gronkowski catching three passes for 56 yards and a score.
On the Colts side, Luck has 67 yards while running back Vick Ballard rushing for 51 yards on eight carries.
The two teams racked up 241-yards of offense. Both punters might be in for a long day sitting on the sidelines.
1st Quarter, 3:17 – Colts 14-7: The Colts are going after Talib, and it’s looking a lot like what Patriot fans are used to.
The Colts converted another third down when Luck hit LaVon Brazill for 25 yards on the sideline — with Talib’s back to the ball. Arrington was whistled for another penalty on the play, but it was declined.
Luck then went to fellow rookie TY Hilton in the back of the end zone with Talib all over him, but Hilton made a nice catch to put the Colts back on top 14-7.
The Colts are 2-for-2 on third down conversions, and Luck is 6-for-7 for 67 yards and a touchdown early on.
1st Quarter, 5:18 – 7-7: It’s a sight the New England Patriots don’t want to see: rookie defensive end Chandler Jones on the ground.
But it doesn’t appear to be serious.
Jones hit the ground with what appeared to be a right foot injury, but after team doctor Thomas Gill looked at it for a brief moment and moved it back and forth Jones got up and walked off under his own power.
So good news for the Patriots. More good news: rookie Alfonzo Dennard has taken over for corner Kyle Arrington.
1st Quarter, 7:07 – 7-7: The Patriots also put together a pretty easy scoring drive on their first possession.
Facing a third and six following an incomplete to Wes Welker, Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman for 18 yards and then Rob Gronkowski for 36 to put New England on the Indy 23.
Brady went back to Gronk two plays later for another 16 yards to the Indy four, and two plays after that for a four-yard touchdown. It’s Brady’s 19th touchdown of the season and 42nd straight game with a TD pass, good for third all-time behind Drew Brees and Johnny Unitas.
Gronk had three touchdowns last year against the Colts, and is up to nine on the season.
1st Quarter, 10:48 – Colts 7-0: The Colts made it look pretty easy on their first possession.
After converting on a big third and one, Andrew Luck had plenty of time to go deep to Donnie Avery. Kyle Arrington was flagged for pass interference, and two plays later running back DeLone Carter took it in for the one-yard score.
The Colts made the most of the 40-yard penalty and put the Patriots in an early 7-0 hole.
Corner Aqib Talib began his Patriots career getting a tackle on his first play; a stop on a seven-yard Reggie Wayne screen.
Pregame – 4:24pm: The Patriots won the toss and differed to the second half. So Andrew Luck will get the ball first, and the Patriots will get the ball to start the second half. Here we go…
BOSTON (CBS) – The 6-3 Patriots host the 6-3 Indianapolis Colts at Gillette, and while this game doesn’t have the luster that went with a Tom Brady-Peyton Manning matchup, there is plenty of buzz to go around.
For one, the Patriots will have new corner Aqib Talib for the first time since acquiring him from the Tampa Bay Bucs on deadline day. They are hoping Talib will bring some stability to a secondary that is allowing over 285 passing yards per game, good for 28th in the NFL. Safety Patrick Chung is out for the fourth straight game, so Devin McCourty will likely remain at safety, allowing Talib to get the start alongside Kyle Arrington.
The Patriots secondary will be on their toes all afternoon with rookie phenom Andrew Luck making passes for the Colts. There has been plenty of talk about Luck for the last two weeks, and it will be interesting to see how the rookie plays against the questionable New England secondary. Luck can hurt teams both through the air and on the ground, so it will take a full team effort to keep him in check.
The Patriots pass game is also primed for a big afternoon, with Brady getting a little extra motivation from all the Andrew Luck talk this past week. He will have receiver Wes Welker, who was questionable on Friday, out there on Sunday, but will be without tight end Aaron Hernandez for the third straight week.