New England Patriots

By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots defeated the Colts 38-24 on Thursday Night Football to move to 3-2 on the season. Here are some quick-hit thoughts on the game in the immediate aftermath.

Patriots offense will be just fine. There are still some kinks to work out with this group, but it’s clear that Julian Edelman’s return has sparked the Patriots. Tom Brady’s receiver group should no longer be a big concern with Edelman back in the fold. That was no more evident than on the opening drive, when Brady went 9-for-9 to five different receivers. Drops and overall execution still need time to improve, but as long as they stay healthy the Patriots offense should be back to a juggernaut in short order.

Hello, Josh Gordon. Gordon eventually got involved in the scoring explosion for the Patriots, and boy did he ever. His Randy Moss-like 34-yard touchdown to beat double coverage blew the game back open for the Patriots. He adjusted to the ball and beat the coverage in a way few receivers can. The play also indicated a supreme level of confidence in him from Brady. No. 12 clearly feels comfortable with throwing it up for Gordon to make a play.

Defense hawks the ball. Devin McCourty didn’t have a good game overall, giving up two touchdowns. But his strip of Jordan Wilkins helped set the Patriots up for what could’ve been a dagger touchdown. Patrick Chung made an interception, while Stephon Gilmore broke up three passes. The theme of the Pats defense swarming the ball continued pretty strongly for a second week.

Andrew Luck is back. Without their quarterback, the Colts would’ve been embarrassed tonight. Between the drops and turnovers, his receivers did him no favors. Luck had a stellar third quarter to get the Colts back in the game, but Indy’s defense couldn’t hold and that was all she wrote. Luck had a few bad throws, but he was mostly sharp and showed that the Patriots are still going to have some trouble with highly skilled quarterbacks. The key will be consistency, and Luck didn’t quite have enough of that.

Adrian Clayborn shows up. The Patriots’ highest-priced free-agent addition had three hurries on Luck, one of which led to an errant pass and an interception. It’s about time he started getting some consistent pressure on the passer, because that’s his greatest asset. He was certainly a factor up front, perhaps the biggest on the team.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at