The New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 38-24 on Thursday Night Football. Check below for updates and analysis from throughout the game.
Q4, 1:18: Garbage time points for the Colts. Andrew Luck finds Eric Ebron in the end zone for a second time to make it 38-24.
Instant Analysis: If not for some untimely turnovers by the Patriots offense, the Colts wouldn’t have been even within 14 points. But Luck’s strong game made things interesting for a while. This game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
Q4, 7:08: Patriots take advantage of a Jonathan Jones turnover, as Sony Michel runs it 34 yards to the house. Patriots make it 38-17.
Instant Analysis: What a difference five minutes makes. The Colts were threatening when they made it 24-17 with 12:48 left. But a Brady-to-Gordon touchdown, a pick by Jonathan Jones, and a Sony Michel touchdown puts the Patriots right back to a 21-point lead. Finally, the rout appears to be on.
Q4, 9:19: Tom Brady finds Josh Gordon in the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 31-17 Patriots.
Q4, 12:48: Andrew Luck finds Eric Swoope in the end zone, Vinatieri hits the PAT and it’s a 24-17 ballgame.
Instant Analysis: Between drops and turnovers for the Patriots offense, and some sieve-like defense, the Colts have climbed back into the game. Andrew Luck is making big-time throws all over the field – it’s time for Brady to match him, and for the receivers to hold onto the damn ball. Big drive coming up for Brady to build the lead back up.
Third Quarter Thoughts: After a very strong first half, the Patriots score zero points in the third quarter while the Colts continue to make plays into the red zone. This time, Andrew Luck found Eric Ebron in the end zone. Tom Brady had some bad luck, with two interceptions that both popped out of the hands of his receivers. If not for a fumble and a drop by the Colts, this game could be a lot closer.
Q3, 5:00: Devin McCourty strips Jordan Wilkins of the football and takes it away to give the ball right back to Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
Instant Analysis: McCourty stole the ball! Great play by the safety to redeem himself after giving up a touchdown to Eric Ebron and make up for Brady’s interception.
Q3, 6:57: Tom Brady’s pass attempt to Chris Hogan slips out of the receiver’s hands and into the bread basket of safety Matthias Farley. That’s Brady’s fifth interception in as many games.
Instant Analysis: That’s the first interception of the season that wasn’t Brady’s fault. Besides a two-touchdown game against the Jaguars, one of which came in garbage time, Hogan has had a stunningly poor start to the season. His stock continues to tumble, even as the Patriots offense starts to get rolling.
Q3, 9:48: Colts make it 24-10 after Andrew Luck connects with Eric Ebron for a 14-yard touchdown.
Instant Analysis: Brady and the Patriots get pinned back, give up a good return, and the Colts capitalize on their strong field position. Luck has been pretty sharp between the 20s, and this time he throws a clean ball in the end zone. Ebron got separation on Devin McCourty to be wide open in stride. Deatrich Wise also lost his rush lane to give up a 16-yard run by Jordan Wilkins that set the Colts up deep in Patriots territory.
Q3, 12:42 Colts forced to punt after Devin McCourty breaks up a pass attempt to Nyheim Hines on third down.
Instant Analysis: So much for Indy getting that quick score to start the half. It was all about the coverage on this stop for the Patriots defense. Stephon Gilmore broke up a deep pass intended for Ryan Grant, and Devin McCourty made the clutch breakup on third down. Defense playing complementary football to hold the Colts to three points through 32 minutes and change.
Q2, 0:13: Stephen Gostkowski hits a 45-yard field goal to make it 24-3 Patriots.
Q2, 0:38: Andrew Luck gets pressure off the left side from Adrian Clayborn, rushes his throw and it sails wide of Nyheim Hines into the waiting arms of Patrick Chung for the interception.
Instant Analysis: Bad, bad decision by Luck. He also could’ve hit Hines on the play, but he would’ve been better off taking a sack and a timeout than throwing a pick.
Q2, 1:34: Patriots go 68 yards in 11 plays to score their third touchdown of the game and go up 21-3. Tom Brady found James White open for an easy six-yard score.
Instant Analysis: After a wonky drive, Tom Brady gets back on track with an 11-play drive that heavily featured James White. The field has opened up nicely for White with Julian Edelman back, that’s for sure. With the Colts struggling to get in the end zone, the rout could be on in short order.
Q2, 6:53: Malcom Brown heads to the blue medical tent after walking off the field under his own power. He appeared to injure his leg or knee on the play.
Q2, 8:49: Colts drive stalls out again, but this time Adam Vinatieri makes the field goal from 54 yards to cut the Patriots’ lead to 14-3.
Instant Analysis: Not gonna beat the Patriots in Foxboro kicking field goals, not even with Adam Vinatieri. The Colts have looked pretty good on offense between the 20s, but Andrew Luck is missing throws in key spots like third down and in the end zone. Adrian Clayborn forced the errant third-down throw on that last drive.
Q2, 12:14: Tom Brady leaps with the ball over the goal line to score his second touchdown of the game. Patriots lead 14-0 in the second.
Instant Analysis: The Pats got Sony Michel rolling on this drive. The rookie had a 12-yard catch-and-run and a 14-yard run up the gut. He looked like he had a touchdown on second-and-1 from the 1-yard line, but Bill Belichick decided to save his challenge and punch it in on the next play. They might’ve even gone for it on fourth down that close to the end zone. Patriots starting to take control up two scores, but the defense could use a better drive than last time. They were fortunate for the Colts to come out with zero points on their last possession.
First Quarter Thoughts: Tom Brady and the Patriots are an Edelman drop from being up 14-0. The offense looks transformed with Edelman back on the field. The Colts, meanwhile, looked to be getting into a rhythm but stalled out badly in the red zone. Andrew Luck is going to have to be sharper than he has been so far. Oh, and if Adam Vinatieri is going to be shanking kicks that’s a bad sign for them.
Q1, 1:01: Adam Vinatieri’s field goal clangs off the left upright, and the Patriots still lead 7-0.
Instant Analysis: A promising drive for the Colts comes crashing down. Andrew Luck sailed two incompletions with shots at the end zone. An early and potentially crucial missed opportunity for Indy.
Q1, 6:01: Julian Edelman drops a would-be catch for a first down on third-and-5, and the Patriots are forced to punt back to the Colts.
Instant Analysis: Well, it appears that Edelman did have at least some rust to work off. He needs to secure the ball there. The play was executed perfectly, except for the very last part.
Q1, 8:58: Tom Brady hits Cordarrelle Patterson for a one-yard touchdown, field goal is good and the Patriots are up 7-0.
Instant analysis: The Patriots offense already looks back to normal. Tom Brady went no-huddle and spread the ball around, hitting Julian Edelman three times. It’s incredible how much Edelman’s presence has already opened things up for everyone else. The Colts are already in trouble after showing no resistance on defense and going three-and-out on their first offensive drive.
8:20: Colts win the opening coin toss and elect to defer to the second half.
8:00: Tom Brady had a nice chat with Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, also a Patriots legend and future Hall of Famer.
6:51: The Patriots and Colts have both released their inactive players. Rob Gronkowski is not on the list, so he’ll be active along with Julian Edelman.
5:33: The Patriots officially activated Julian Edelman to the 53-man roster and released running back Kenjon Barner.
3:01: Mike Reiss reports that the Patriots are expected to have tight end Jacob Hollister in the lineup after he missed the last two games with a chest injury. He should help lighten the workload of Rob Gronkowski, who has been slowed by an ankle injury.
In addition to Rob Gronkowski expected to be active tonight, the Patriots’ TE ranks should receive an additional boost with the return of pass-catching TE Jacob Hollister, barring an unexpected late change. Hollister was out the last two games with a chest injury.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 4, 2018
2:46: The Patriots need to make a corresponding move for the return of Julian Edelman to the 53-man roster. ESPN’s Mike Reiss says the move is likely to be the release of running back Kenjon Barner, leaving just Sony Michel and James White at that position.
The Patriots will have to make a roster move to account for WR Julian Edelman’s return to the 53-man roster, and barring a late change, the expectation is that it will be RB Kenjon Barner let go. That would leave team with just Sony Michel and James White at RB tonight.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 4, 2018
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