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Who Will Win?
Playing on a cold night in Foxborough is never an easy thing to do, so the Colts wanted to go out and score early, as they elected to receive the ball after winning the coin toss.
Andrew Luck and the Colts offense continued to roll as they went 8 plays for 84 yards on the opening drive. Luck completed passes to T.Y. Hilton for 14 yards, Coby Fleener for 17 yards and a screen pass to Donald Brown for 48 yards, before Trent Richardson ran it in from 5 yards out, giving the Colts a quick 7-0 lead.
The Patriots began their drive with 6 straight passes, which included a 21 yard completion to Danny Amendola, but the Colts defense made some timely stops, and forced the Patriots to bring on Stephen Gostkowski for a 54 yard field goal. Gostowski got plenty of leg under it but it hit off the left upright.
Indianapolis took over at their own 44.
On the very first play, the Patriots brought the pressure against Luck, forcing him to scramble. It was Dont'a Hightower who made the hit on Luck from behind, causing the football to come loose, and Aqib Talib recovered it and returned it 29 yards, setting up the Patriots offense at the Colts 22.
After the fumble, Brady connected with Amendola for 18 yards to the Colts 5 yard line. After an incomplete pass and two LeGarrette Blount rushes, the Patriots faced a 4th and goal at the Colts 1 yard line. Instead of taking the 3 points, Bellicheck decided to go for it and Brady was able to sneak in the endzone on a QB keeper, tying the game up at 7-7.
The Colts were finally able to find some success on the ground, Donald Brown ran it for 9 yards, and then Hilton was able to pick up 12 yards on a end around. The next play Andrew Luck had Griff Whalen open deep down the middle of the field but under threw him and it was picked off by Steve Gregory.
End of 1st: Colts 7 Patriots 7
Starting at their own 18, the Patriots were able to put together an 8 play 82 yard drive that lead to a go ahead touchdown. Michael Hoomanawanui had two catches for 31 yards on the drive and Amendola had a 29 yard catch. Blount finished off the drive with a 3 yard touchdown run.
New England suffered bad news as they learned they would be without Danny Amendola for the remainder of the game as he suffered a herniated disk and would not be able to return.
Indianapolis offense was moving the ball down the field as they picked up 4 first downs, getting down to the Patriots 17 yard line. On first and 10, Luck connected with Fleener for a short 2 yard gain, but the Patriots defense came up big again, as Steve Gregory made the hit, forcing the ball to come out, and it was Aqib Talib once again there to cover it up.
Just like the Patriots, the Colts got some bad news of their own as T.Y. Hilton would not return to the field as he suffered a bruised sternum.
For the third time in the first half, the Patriots were able to capitalize on a Colts turnover. This time Brady found Kembrell Thompkins in the middle of the endzone for an easy touchdown. This gave New England a 14 point lead with just 35 seconds left in the first half.
The Patriots went 85 yards on 10 plays, including a 26 yard completion to Julian Edelman, and a 15 yard completion to Thompkins before the touchdown.
With just 1 timeout the Colts ran the ball once and jogged into the locker room after a disappointing first half.
At the Half: Patriots 21 Colts 7
Tom Brady started off the second half by picking apart the Colts defense. With very limited passing options left due to the Amendola injury, Shane Vereen was relied upon heavily. Brady and Vereen hooked up for a 10 and a 7 yard pickup before Vereen took a screen pass 42 yards to the house, thanks to some incredible blocking up the field. New England took a commanding 21 point lead.
The sloppy played continued for the Colts as the offense faced a 3rd and 13 after Luck got sacked on second down. Luck tried to throw a deep pass to Lavon Brazill down the sideline but Kyle Arrington made a great defensive play, and picked off Luck. The 4th Colts turnover.
Eating up a ton of clock, Tom Brady led the Patriots on a 13 play drive that led to a Gostkowski 28 yard field goal. Despite the big lead, the Patriots continued to throw the ball because the Colts haven't shown they could stop it. Brady picked up 4 first downs through the air to 4 different receivers - Hoomanawanui, Thompkins, Edelman and Vereen.
Just like they did against the Chiefs, facing a large deficit, the Colts scored in a hurry. It took Indianapolis just 3 plays to 74 yards. After an incomplete pass, Luck connected with Brazill for 29 yards and then found Griff Whalen literally all by himself down the field for a 45 yard touchdown. Clearly there was some confusion between Patriot defensive players. Luck then completed a pass to Whalen for the 2-point conversion cutting the Patriots lead to 16 points heading into the 4th quarter.
End of 3: Patriots 31 Colts 15
New England was able to get to midfield before the Colts defense finally forced a punt. Giving Andrew Luck and the offense some hope.
However that hope would soon disappear as Andrew Luck was picked off for the third time in the game, this time by Alfonzo Denard.
With the Patriots playing conservative, just trying to kill some clock, the Colts forced another punt with 6 minutes to play. Still, they trail 16.
Going with the no huddle offense, Andrew Luck was able to complete all 5 of his pass attempts on the drive, which set up a Donald Brown 1 yard touchdown. Luck converted the 2 point conversion on a slant to Da'Rick Rogers, cutting the Patriots lead to just 8 and making it a one possession game with 3 minutes remaining.
At the two minute warning, the Patriots faced a third and 6 at their own 39. Brady tried to hit Edelman on a slant route, and it was nearly picked off by Greg Toler
Facing a 24 point deficit in the 3rd quarter, it seemed like the Colts were completely out of it. I guess we should have learned something from their historic comeback last week against the Chiefs. With 1:55 remaining in the game, Andrew Luck and the Colts offense needed a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to send this game into overtime.
Andrew Luck was forced to scramble on first down, making it 2nd and 8 from their own 15 yard line. Chandler Jones was able to break through the Colts offensive line to bring down Luck for the sack, forcing the Colts into a 3rd and long. After an incomplete pass, the Colts now were faced with a 4th and 16 and their season on the line.
After using one of their final two timeouts, Luck fired a strike to Whalen over the middle who then found open space and ran with it for a 39 yard gain. This set up the Colts with a first down at their own 46.
On third and 11, Luck completed a pass to Rogers who was able to pick up the first down and get out of bounds, allowing the Colts to keep their final timeout with just 29 seconds left at the Patriots 42.
Luck picked up two more first downs to Fleener and Whalen, setting up the games final play with 2 seconds left at the Patriots 15.
Scrambling to his right, Luck lofted one up to Fleener in the end zone. Fleener went up and came down with the ball for the touchdown, taking advantage of the size difference between him and safety Devin McCourty. Luck went right back to Fleener on the 2-point conversion and sent this game into overtime!
End of Regulation: Patriots 31 Colts 31
The one thing you never want to do is to let Tom Brady touch the ball with the game on the line. Unfortunately for the Colts they lost the coin toss in overtime, and New England elected to receive, giving Brady a chance to end this game.
Tom Brady went 5/6 on the drive, picking up 4 first downs, and hit Julian Edelman over the middle for a game winning 7 yard touchdown. There was no way Brady was going to let Andrew Luck get another chance in this game.
The big play on the drive was when the Patriots faced 3rd and 5 at the Colts 47, he threw a perfectly placed ball down the sidelines to Shane Vereen who had Josh McNary beaten by a step. Brady threw it right over the arms of McNary and into Vereen's hands for 40 yards. The very next play, Brady threw the game winning touchdown to Edelman.
Final Score: Patriots 37 Colts 31
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