Colts fans seemed pretty resigned to this loss before the game even started. They just wanted a semi-close game. NBC wanted a good game. And we had both.
Last night turned on to two big plays. It’s disappointing that those didn’t fall in the Colts favor. But, still, the game against the Patriots came down to two moments. It wasn’t a blowout as predicted. It was within the power of the Colts to win, and more importantly, they showed that to the fans. This game proved what needed to be proven this week. The Colts can stay with the Patriots.
The Indianapolis Colts led by Andrew Luck, for the first time in two weeks, played a very good first half. They gave all the fans hope. It was a nice feeling. Luck threw for the first touchdown of the game, and played a faster offense that seemed to help keep the Patriots defense at bay. After Julian Edelman appeared to break a finger, he then had some troubles catching the ball. A throw intended for him was picked off by Mike Adams and run back for a touchdown. The game was an exciting one. The lead changed back and forth possession after possession. The Colts were ahead 21 – 20 at the half.
But the Colts were also the incompetent Colts we’ve come to know this season. The second half was frustration upon frustration. The second-half started with something the Patriots do well, which is defer the opening kick so that they have possession of the ball in the final play of the first half and then the first play of the second half. This added to the good half-time adjustments Bill Belichick and created a tougher opponent.
The first big turning point came when the Colts fell behind, and needed an on-side kick recovery. For all intents and purposes it looked like Donte Moncrief recovered the ball, but the referees called it for the Patriots. And the Patriots took advantage of the field position to score and advance the lead.
Then came the embarrassing moment that puzzled everyone, everywhere. That strange trick-play gone wrong on the Colts own 37. Chuck Pagano took full responsibility for this one. The company line became “miscommunication.” Whatever it was, it hurts to watch. It would be easier to see the replays of this if it didn’t matter so much to the outcome. Patriots got the ball close to the goal, and converted. And that was the game.
Andrew Luck shook the rust off and looked sharp the first half of the game. He over threw a couple throws that might have made the difference in the game, but it was good to see him play. The Colts had the same problems they’ve always had against the Pats. They couldn’t stop the run or even hold it to under six yards a carry. They could move the ball, but couldn’t score. And they couldn’t put pressure on Tom Brady. They’re still not the team they need to be to beat the Patriots despite all the off-season moves. The Patriots out-executed the Colts, as Andrew Luck said in the post-game conference. It was true.
When the Colts next play the Patriots, assuming both win their respective divisions, it will be in the playoffs. It will be a similar situation to last year. Colts fans desperately hoping for vindication, and the Patriots bringing a tough game that has a bad tendency to run over Colts. Because of the woes of the AFC South, the Colts are likely to have a winning season even if they do lose to big powerhouse teams, like the Broncos, Patriots, or Steelers.
Next week’s game against the New Orleans Saints will see Andrew Luck face up against a Drew Brees at home in Lucas Oil Stadium. Hopefully we’ll be able to watch the Colts of the first half of the game against New England be tough, strong, and capable against the Saints on Sunday. It seems unlikely that the Colts will let another two games in a row slip away from them, so the Colts will tally one more victory. Find Colts vs. Saints tickets here!
Because it’s a home game, we’ve got a VIP Pre-Game Tailgate! Doors open three hours before kickoff next Sunday, October 25th at 10:00 a.m. at the Crane Bay Event Center in downtown Indianapolis. Hope to see you there!