Pats Bury Colts 59-24
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Andrew Luck may turn out to be a great quarterback in the NFL. Who knows? Maybe he’ll go on to have a Hall of Fame career? But right now, he and the Indianapolis Colts are nowhere near ready to compete with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Sunday’s 59-24 smoke show at Gillette Stadium not only featured great play by Brady and the Patriots offense, special teams and the much-maligned Patriots defense also contributed heavily to the win.
The newly acquired Aqib Talib had quite a moment to remember in his Patriots debut. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer intercepted and Andrew Luck pass in the second quarter and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown giving the Patriots their first lead of the game at 21-14.
More impressive than the interception was Talib’s return which was reminiscent of Ty Law as he cut left, cut right and managed to dodge numerous Colts to take it to the house.
However, it wasn’t all good for Talib. He gave up a 14-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton late in the first quarter. In fairness to Talib, his coverage wasn’t bad and he actually made a diving attempt to knock the pass down. The problem was that Andrew Luck threw a perfect pass which was almost indefensible.
Talib was also victimized by Hilton on a 43-yard TD strike early in the 4th. On the play, Talib was flagged for illegal contact but the penalty was declined in favor of the Colts touchdown which made the score 45-24 New England.
Opposite Talib at right corner was rookie Alfonzo Dennard who also had a pick-six. Dennard returned a Luck pass 87 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the 4th quarter. That pretty much sealed the Colts fate putting New England up 45-17.
New England also scored a special teams touchdown when Julian Edelman returned a punt 68 yards for a score early in the second quarter. Edelman also had a touchdown reception on the opening possession of the second half and had a 47-yard run as well.
It’s not often that Brady and Rob Gronkowski are overshadowed in a Patriots win, but that may have been the case Sunday. Both players had their usual spectacular afternoons with Brady throwing for over 300 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Two of those touchdowns went to Gronkowski who had 137 yards receiving on the day.
The win lifted New England’s record to (7-3) giving them a full 3-game lead on the Jets, Dolphins and Bills in the AFC East.
It will be a short week of practice for the Patriots who will take on the New York Jets on Thanksgiving night at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
-Patriots rookie DE Chandler Jones had to leave the game in the first half with an injured right ankle. Jones did not return to the game.
-Starting guards Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly were both inactive for the game. Nick McDonald and Donald Thomas started in their place and did a solid job. The Pats offensive line did not allow a sack all game.
-Safety Patrick Chung (hamstring) also did not play leaving Steve Gregory alongside Devon McCourty at safety with Talib and Dennard manning the corners.
-The 59 points scored by the Patriots tied the franchise record. The Pats also put 59 up on the Tennessee Titans amidst the slushy snow at Gillette Stadium on October 18, 2009.
-Former Patriots placekicker and current Colt Adam Vinatieri heard some boos from Pats fans when he came on the field for his first field goal attempt in the second quarter. Vinatieri nailed two Super Bowl-winning field goals in Super Bowl 36 and Super Bowl 38 for the Pats. He was one of a number of Colt players to shave his head as a show of solidarity for their head coach Chuck Pagano who is battling cancer.
-Earlier in the day it appeared as if the Pats and other top AFC teams were going to get some help from an unlikely source. The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) had the conference-leading Texans on the ropes in Houston leading by 14 points in the second half. Unfortunately, the Jags couldn’t hold that lead and lost in overtime. Houston is now (8-1) and has the inside track on the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
-Tom Brady’s 331 yard game was the 51st 300+ yard game of his career tying him for the all-time lead with former San Diego Chargers great Dan Fouts.
-The win was Bill Belichick's 199th career win placing him 8th on the all-time list. Dan Reeves is 7th with 201 career wins.