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MORSE: Observations as Patriots’ Defense Smothers the Colts to Get Above .500 Mark

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
4 weeks ago at 7:00 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

MORSE: Observations as Patriots’ Defense Smothers the Colts to Get Above .500 MarkNov 6, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) sacks Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger (4) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In my Week 9 Preview of the Colts I predicted this game was not going to be pretty and for the most part, it wasn’t.

The final score was not indicative of how hard the Colts’ defense played.   The Patriots’ Defense was as dominant as I have ever seen.  Yes, they were playing against a rookie quarterback, and Bill Belichick’s record versus rookie QBs was 4-104 against a rookie.

The Colts have some problems on their O-line.  The Colts have the most expensive O-line in the league, but they have not been getting the results for what they paid for.   The Patriots targeted the RG on many pass-rush packages.

  • The pats’ defense was dominating. They held the Colts to 0-14 on 3rd down and 0-2 on 4th  They limited them to 2 yards per play and 1 yard per pass.  The Defense had 9 sacks (Judon 3, Uche 3, Bentley 1, McMillan 1, Tavai .5, Wise .5) for -60 yards.  The Patriots’ Defense held the Colts to 120 total yards.  Ehlinger was under constant pressure. Jon Jones also had a pick-six which put the game out of reach.  JuWhaun Bentley led the team with 9 tackles.
  • Also in my preview, I stated the Patriots had a big advantage in Special Teams. Jonathan Jones with a punt block set up the Patriots in great field position.  Marcus Jones also had a big 23-yard punt return.
  • The AFC East is the toughest division in all of the NFL. Every team has a winning record.
  • The Jets beat the Buffalo Bills at home. I think that puts the Patriots’ victory last week in the Medowlands in a better light.  The Jets have a very good defense and Mac Jones played very well considering how much pressure they can apply.   Coming off the bye week we have the Jets in Week 10.  Unfortunately, the Jets also have the bye week.  No advantage for the Patriots except they are playing at home.  This is part of why the Patriots have the worst schedule in the league.
  • Cole Strange got benched in the 1st quarter after a hands-to-the-face penalty. Isaiah Wynn moved to LG.  Yodny Cajuste played RT and was barely adequate.
  • Rhamondre Stevenson is becoming a beast. His one-handed catch was beautiful, then he managed to step inside the pylon for a TD.   He was the leading rusher with 15 carries for 60 yards, 4.0 per carry against that tough defense.  He also chipped in with 3 catches.  The Colts were double-teaming Stevenson when he went out as a receiver.
  • Hunter Henry chipped in with 4 catches none better than the 30-yard seam pass with 14:07 left in the 4th .  Glad to see the TEs involved in the offense.  Jonnu Smith had 3 catches and one was a beautiful screen pass for 24 yards early in the game.  Those two plays were amongst the best play calls by matt Patricia and the coaching staff.
  • I liked the Jakobi Meyers motion and stopping behind center and taking the snap under center, then blasting over RG for a 1st down.  Did anyone notice the push Meyers and the O-line got from Mac Jones flying up and ramming the pile over the 1st down mark?
  • Jake Bailey’s punting remains a problem. He had 7 kicks for 271 yards (38.3 avg) 1 punt inside the 20 and a long of 58 yards.  The Patriots signed Matt Parlady to the practice squad.  If Parlady can kick off, Bailey may end up as inactive or cut altogether.  Parlady has played in parts of 7 seasons.  Bailey had one punt for a net of 7 yards.
  • Some really hard hits by the Patriots’ defense. Jack Jones dislodge a ball in Parris Campbell’s hands with a hard clean hit for an incompletion.  Jalen Mills had two Pass Breakups and Devin McCourty nearly had another INT late.  Mills broke up another pass that should have been picked.  All in all the secondary played very well.  Perhaps this was Mill’s best game as a Patriot.
  • The Patriots’ Defense was well prepared for Sam Ehlinger to run. He was the leading rusher for the Colts with 39 yards on 5 carries, but that was skewered by a 19-yard run late in the game when it was already over.  The Colts had no run game without Jonathan Taylor.  They traded away Nyheim Hines to the Bills for Zack Moss, who wasn’t ready to play.
  • Playcalling by Matt Patricia was generally bad most of the game. He did have a few good calls as I noted earlier, but he is still a big part of the problem.  I agree with Greg Bedard and think it’s time for Belichick to start making the offensive play calls.
  • Jakobi Meyers had a quiet game, especially after having the ball punched out of his hands for a lost fumble. Not much he could have done to prevent that as Bobby Okereke punched the ball out.  Meyers was holding it with two hands.
  • The Pats were called for 4 penalties for 35 yards and the O-line gave up 4 sacks. Isaiah Wynn came in for Strange (who didn’t return) and he didn’t perform much better.
  • Just saw this on Twitter … In the last 20 years in the NFL only one other team has averaged 2.0 yards per play (60 plays in a game) and that was the 2009 Rams (finished 1-15) and the Colts today.
  • Did anyone see Nelson Agholor play today? I can’t remember seeing him or hearing his name.  I didn’t think Kendrick Bourne covered himself in glory either.  In the first series, Bourne had a drop off of his fingertips I thought he should have had.  Tyquan Thornton didn’t bend down for another pass.

Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Patriots vs Colts

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