New England Patriots 43 vs Indianapolis Colts 22
TD L.Blount 2 yd. run (S.Gostkowski kick) (1-2, 0:04)
TD L.Blount 2 yd. run (S.Gostkowski kick) (10-74, 5:03)
TD L.Brazill 38 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (7-80, 2:42)
TD L.Blount 2 yd. run (S.Gostkowski kick) (14-75, 6:28)
FG A.Vinatieri 36 yd. Field Goal (11-62, 5:19)
SFTY R.Allen fumble declared dead in end zone for a Safety
FG A.Vinatieri 21 yd. Field Goal (8-60, 3:27)
TD S.Ridley 3 yd. run (S.Ridley run) (9-88, 3:45)
TD L.Brazill 35 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (3-80, 1:17)
TD L.Blount 73 yd. run (S.Gostkowski kick) (1-73, 0:13)
TD S.Ridley 1 yd. run (S.Gostkowski kick) (5-18, 1:33)
What the Colts did Right
The Colts did a nice job not digging themselves a hole and they were only down by 9 points at halftime and 6 points early in the 3rd quarter. They managed to stay within 1 or 2 scores for 3 quarters before the Patriots took off.
Andrew Luck, despite the inconsistencies, managed to make some unbelievable throws that you don't see from average quarterbacks. His throw to Lavon Brazill was picture perfect and it was on the point. He threw the ball down the field as well as anyone in the league and made some great plays.
The Colts' receivers managed to have good games. TY Hilton made some big plays and had another 100+ yard game and contiunes to show that he's a star in this league. Griff Whalen made some very nice catches and found ways to get open. Coby Fleener made a few great catches too. Lavon Brazill also made a couple of nice touchdown catches and continues to find ways to get into the endzone.
The offensive line did a relatively good job early on giving Andrew Luck some time. There were several plays where Luck had all the time in the world to throw the ball. Gosder Cherilus had a very good game, containing Rob Ninkovich.
The offensive gameplan was actually pretty well thought out and there were a few drives where the play calling was fantastic. This offensive coaching staff show a lot of great potential.
On defense, they did little right.
Robert Mathis managed to have a decent game and get a strip sack late in the game. Jerrell Freeman did a nice job making tackles.
The Colts, as a whole, showed up when they needed to and they were able to force a lot of three and outs. When they performed well against the Pats running game, it was because of great inside penetration from the defensive line. Walden also had a nice game setting the edge and for getting pressure on Brady.
What the Colts did Wrong
The Colts did a lot of things wrong.
On offense, Andrew Luck was a mess. He was way too inconsistent and made a tremendous amount of errors. Luck has a problem of staring down his receivers and despite the fact that the cornerbacks clearly see him, Luck still forces the throws. It costed him on 3 occasions in the game and it was probably the main reason why they lost the game. Luck was not careful with the football and just had one of his worst games ever. He needs to play efficient playoff football in order to win games.
The running game never really got going. Donald Brown was stuffed a lot on the line and that was due to a poor performance from the offensive line in terms of run blocking. They would get to the line of scrimmage and they would be stopped right away. Stanley Havili made a huge costly mistake, as he dropped a pass that tipped off his shoulder pad and went right into the hands of the Patriots' defender Dont'a Hightower. That hurt the Colts badly because they were moving well on that drive and could have made it a 2 point game going into halftime, instead of a 9 point game.
Da'Rick Rogers did not have a good game as a receiver. He dropped 2 important passes in the game, ran horrendous routes all day and failed to get seperation from his cornerback. Not a good performance.
The offense outside of Andrew Luck was decent, the main problems stemmed from the defense.
The Colts needed to do two things on defense: take away Julian Edelman and LaGarrette Blount.
Blount was able to go for 166 yards and 4 touchdowns. Julian Edelman was able to have 6 catches for 84 yards including a few big plays on third down. In simple terms, they failed big time.
The Patriots were able to put up 43 points and THEY DIDN'T NEED TOM BRADY!! For once, I cannot say that Tom Brady was able to pick apart this defense. He didn't have an overly great game. He just did his job and made no mistakes, which is exactly what he did. They relied on their running game and went run heavy this game with Blount and Ridley. They combined for 234 rushing yards, and an average of 5.1 yards per carry. That's embrassing.
The Colts struggled mightily in terms of tackling the ball carrier. They could't tackle Edelman and they couldn't tackle Blount. They missed a ton of tackles, and it costed them a lot of big plays. That one is completely on the players. The first guy to touch the ball carrier should be the guy to take him down. It was a disgusting effort on their part.
Despite the decent offensive gameplan, it felt like the Colts were being outcoached the entire game, and it seemed like the Patriots were always one step ahead. The Colts failed to adjust properly and they showed life at the beginning of the 2nd half, but the Patriots pulled ahead. I blame the coaches on this loss, and although the players were terrible and they deserve a big part of the blame, the coaches did little to motivate the players and to properly adjust as the game went on. They could't stop the two playmakers on that offense (other than Brady).
You will NEVER, EVER, EVER win a Super Bowl if you allow 87 points in the first two games of the playoffs. That's terrible.
Colts Player of the Game