New England enjoys playing with bad defenses the same way I play Madden - 50 points? My guys don't have enough yards ... hm. Hence, in the fourth quarter and up by three touchdowns, why not go deep on your first pass?
The AP breaks down the game and Rob Gronkowski's injury, but I think we learned a few other things on Sunday:
- Vick Ballard can run the ball, and should. In the first half, the Colts had six possessions; Ballard was used extensively for both touchdown drives, and was a big reason why they stuck with New England through the first quarter. Still, every fourth down in the first half was caused by three incompletions in a row, because Indianapolis started to panic. As soon as they abandoned the run game, they lost.
- The Colts's defense is bad, but not as bad as most people think. Out of 59 points, 21 were off picks and punts; another pick set New England up at the Indy 24 (touchdown), and porous special team work gave the Pats the ball inside Indy's 40 (touchdown). The defense couldn't hold themselves up and did not produce a sack or turnover, but of Indy's 59 points against, only 24 were specifically the defense's fault.
- we got arrogant. Hard not to when you've won twice as many games as people predicted, but this loss puts the Colts back in their place; in this case, agood thing. The Colts didn't expect to win against Green Bay, and gained momentum through success. If they want any chance at a playoff berth or a run against a better team, Indy has the play as the underdog and pull leverage from defeat.
This week will be about how the Colts are actually bad, can't play defense, and are only good on virtue of their record; I see it as a reality check. Foxborough's a tough venue, maybe the toughest other than Centurylink in Seattle (I'm still trying to figure that one out). This week, Indy plays Buffalo; let's see how they compete back in Indy before passing judgment.