In the end, in a contest of two physical football teams, the more physical team won as the Colts ran for 226 yards with Jonathan Taylor running for 170 of them, including a 67-yard TD just before the two-minute warning to put the Patriots and the game away.
The Taylor touchdown gave the Colts a 27-17 win that snapped the Patriots’ seven-game winning streak as well as snapping the Patriots’ eight-game winning streak against the Colts.
Bill Belichick after the game summed it up perfectly in his post-game presser. “Obviously we didn’t do anything well enough to win. We didn’t play well and we didn’t coach well. Too many penalties, fumbles, interceptions, over 200 yards rushing. We played from behind the whole game, so just nothing really good enough. We have to go back to work here, coach, and play better next (game). It’s disappointing, but we’ll move on.”
The Colts’ offensive line dominated up front for the majority of the game as they frequently got the push that propelled Taylor all game long, but especially on first-down carries. In contrast, the Patriots couldn’t get their running game going and rushed for only 81 yards on 19 carries. Rhamondre Stevenson was held to just 36 yards on 10 carries.
The Colts’ defense frustrated the New England offense for three quarters before Mac Jones was able to finally get the offense going and led them to 17 points.
Jones finished the game 26-45 for 299 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His second TD pass to Hunter Henry narrowed the game down to 20-17, with 2:21 left but Taylor broke his long TD run shortly after.
Jones had two bad interceptions, one in the red zone, just before the half where he didn’t see Darius Leonard and threw a pass right to him at about the 4-yard line while looking for Hunter Henry. Leonard had a big game for the Colts defense and was a factor all over the field. Jones’ other pick at the beginning of the second half was a play that he held the ball too long and tried a sideline pass that was undercut and easily picked off.
Hunter Henry had a big game for the offense catching six passes for 77 yards and two TDs. He had a nice sequence catching three passes, the third being the 12-yard TD that got the Patriots on the board 20-7 with 14:55 left in the game.
The defense then got them back in the game when Carson Wentz threw a horrible interception, trying to squeeze the ball between three defenders. Jamie Collins got a hand on it, and Devin McCourty picked it off. They drove down inside the five but had to settle for three when another pre-snap penalty (there were several) and cut the lead down to 20-10.
Then with 2:21 left in the game, Jones found Henry again for an 8-yard touchdown cutting the lead to 20-17. The score was set up by a fantastic catch by N’Keal Harry who went up high and snatched a beauty of a 43-yard catch down to the 15. A roughing the QB penalty put the Patriots at the 8.
After the game, Jones blamed the poor start on a bad week of practice. “Yeah, I just don’t think it was our best effort. It starts with me just throughout the week. We didn’t have a great practice every day, so it is what it is. You just have to move on and keep your head high and keep working, because no one’s going to feel sorry for ourselves.”
But this was a game where Special Teams, normally a strength of the team, not only hurt them but cost them 10 points. After the Colts had taken a 7-0 lead, they held the Patriots to a three-and-out. And the rush on Jake Bailey, straight up the middle blocked the punt which was recovered for a touchdown putting them up 14-0. It was the third blocked punt against Bailey this season.
After Jones’ second interception, the Patriots’ defense held, and then Michael Badgley’s 46-yard field goal missed. But Brandon King was flagged for being offside and then Badgley nailed it from 41 which made the score 20-0.
Opportunities for the Patriots to force turnovers from Wentz were there, but the team couldn’t capitalize. J.C. Jackson dropped a possible interception and Jamie Collins dropped a possible pick-six. Wentz finished just 5-12 for 58 yards with a TD and an INT.
The game was physical and chippy all night long. Things culminated when Michael Pittman and Kyle Dugger were tossed for fighting. Wentz got into it with Matthew Judon after a play on the sideline. Bill Belichick was livid later in the game when N’Keal Harry took what appeared to be a wicked shot to the back of his head.
Both he and Andrew Sendejo left the game and needed to be helped off the field after the hit,
With the loss, the Patriots drop from #1 to #3 in AFC seeding and have the Bills upcoming next week. Buffalo is at home on Sunday facing Carolina and with a win, they’d be just a game behind New England.
Posted Under: 2021 NFL Season
Tags: Bill Belichick Carson Wentz Darius Leonard Devin McCourty Dont'a Hightower Hunter Henry Indianapolis Colts Jamie Collins Jonathan Taylor Mac Jones N'Keal Harry New England Patriots NFL Patriots