|New England Patriots||7||17||0||14||38|
The Patriots had beaten the Dolphins in Foxboro, and all was right in the world. The 2-2 New England Patriots sat atop the East, ahead of the 3-1 Dolphins and 1-3 Jets/Bills. Edelman would return from suspension this week. New England could move on to Indy, and Miami could move back to Stockholm. The Colts, meanwhile, were still reeling from a poor 4th-down decision against the Texans in OT; a game they lost. In addition, the Colts had roughly 90% of their roster out with an injury and a short week to prepare before this Thursday game.
In spite of this, or more accurately because this, a small number of folks were worried about this being a ‘trap game’. It wasn’t. The Patriots went up 24-3 at halftime.
In the second half, the game got interesting. The Colts got great field position and Luck threw a sweet touchdown pass to Ebron. Next was some sloppy football. BB and Tom wanted to ice the game, and ice (metaphorically, mind you. It was mid-60s at game time) is what they got. In the midst of a drive down to the Colts 30-yard line, Hogan’s hands turned to ice and the ball slipped right through into the arms of a Colts defender. Not to be outdone, Colts RB Jordan Wilkins’ hands also turned to ice and allowed Devin McCourty to slide the ball out for a fumble.
The Patriots had the ball back, but there’s no party that Gronk is willing to miss. This ice-hands party was no exception. Halting another near-certain Patriots score, the ball went flying out of Gronk’s hands for another interception. The Colts got their shit together and drove 80 yards making it a one score game. Fortunately, this was the end of the craziness as the Pats started playing well again and secured the game, but for a moment it seemed like Belichick might have a heart attack.
Oh, some 6th-round pick called Tom Brady threw his 500th career TD pass in the regular season. That’s pretty good, right? On the play, he had approximately 30 years of time in the pocket and 2 Colts defenders not turning around to find the ball while Josh Gordon, the 71st person Brady has thrown a TD pass to, was right between them.
It’s hard to make a clear takeaway from this game. Ultimately, this game was messy. Both teams made plenty of mistakes, but stop me if you’ve heard this one: the Patriots walk away with the win. The Colts continue to slide and lose the next week to the Jets, falling to 1-5. Hopefully, an extra long week of practice would get the Patriots in top form for the AFC-leading Chiefs coming into town.