Brady, Patriots stifle Luck, Colts in grudge match

*With vengeance on their mind, Tom Brady and the Patriots didn't quite run up the score, but instead thoroughly dominated the Colts in the second half en route to a 34-27 victory. *

  1. The Patriots never did make it up to the 60 points that Tom Sr. was hoping for, but they did subdue the Colts, thanks to an all-around dominant second-half performance. Tom Brady didn't take the Colts defense out to slaughter, but he did splice their coverage thoroughly, completing on-the-nose balls to his most reliable receivers at the right time. The turning point in the game came right after halftime with the Patriots down one point. With Colts safety Mike Adams, who had troubled Brady earlier in the game, out with an injury, Brady immediately threw in the direction of Rob Gronkowski, whom Adams had been shadowing. Gronkowski, who hadn't caught a ball in the first half, split the Colts' defense twice for 35 yards on the drive and scored the eventual go-ahead touchdown. New England never looked back and remained undefeated.
  1. Andrew Luck's return from a shoulder injury proved to be a seamless transition toward normalcy for the Colts ... for one half. Luck came firing out of the gate, starting 7-for-7 on a perfect opening scoring drive. However, after that, the effects of his injury became apparent. Luck frequently overthrew receivers in the middle of the field, even sailing the ball past Patriots' safeties. Luck finished with pretty numbers -- 30-for-50, 312 yards, three TDs -- but missed many opportunities to convert because of his poor accuracy. Consider Sunday night a step in the right direction for the All-Pro, and only that.
  1. LeGarrette Blount is the new Jonas Gray, just like Jonas Gray was once the new LeGarrette Blount. Running backs in New England, like fashion and the seasons, are endlessly cyclical -- they replace each other over and again until they are indistinguishable. With Dion Lewis nowhere to be found in the running game, Blount took most of the carries and finished with another banner day -- 93 yards, two total TDs. The Hoodie's running back game plan is a chameleon, changing color and form to fit each coming opponent, so there's no saying whether Blount will be the workhorse from here on out. Just look what happened to Gray, if you can find him.
  1. Oh, Griff Whalen. Poor Griff. Your lifelong dreams of converting a fake punt against the hated Patriots whilst in an illegal formation were dashed swiftly and surely because of a Snapfu. What did you do to anger the football gods and/or Chuck Pagano? We may never know. Cheers to you, Griff Failin' -- your national embarrassment will probably not be in vain.
  1. Injuries on the Patriots' offense proved problematic early on. Following Julian Edelman's touchdown grab in the first quarter, the wideout suffered a gnarly-looking right pinky injury. On the ensuing drive, Edelman struggled to catch a few short balls from Brady, one of which turned into a Mike Adams pick-six.

To add insult to injury, Brady had to play behind a makeshift offensive line for the majority of the contest. Left tackle Marcus Cannon left with a toe injury in the first quarter and did not return, forcing Sebastian Vollmer to shift over to the left and Cameron Fleming, who was signed on Saturday, to take Vollmer's place.

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