A late comeback was not enough for the New England Patriots as they fell to the Indianapolis Colts 27-17. The Patriots fell into a 14-0 hole quickly and that lead was 20-0 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. There was some hope at the end when the Pats were down 20-17 with a chance to get the ball back, but Colts running back Johnathan Taylor delivered a knockout blow with a 67-yard touchdown run.
Special Teams Woes
The Patriots usually dominate the special teams side of the game, but they were beaten soundly today. A blocked punt caused the second touchdown for the Colts, which really flipped the game on its head. Another mistake was an offside penalty in the third quarter after a missed field goal by Colts kicker Michael Badgley. This allowed Badgely to have a second chance and he made it, putting the lead up to 20-0.
The special teams unit was not the only reason the Pats lost, but it was a major reason why.
Mac’s Rough Day
We have all been spoiled by Mac’s play so far this season and he actually looked like a rookie quarterback last night. He made some horrible mistakes leading to a couple of interceptions. The two interceptions only led to a total of three points on the other side, but the Pats were close to scoring before the half, but Mac threw an interception to Darius Leonard at the five-yard line.
He did turn it around later in the game when the Pats started coming back. Mac continuously led the team down the field in the fourth quarter and was able to get his team back into the game with a chance to win. Both of his late touchdowns went to tight end Hunter Henry, who has been Mac’s favorite red-zone target.
There was one big play made by N’Keal Harry to set up the second touchdown to bring the Patriots within three. This was the biggest play Harry has made with the Patriots, and who knows if it is the start of something.
With this loss, the seven-game winning streak was snapped and the Patriots fall to third in the AFC. They are still leading the division and have one game up on the Buffalo Bills, who come to town next week. It is never good to lose, but with all the mistakes, the Pats never really deserved to win this one. It was a game full of uncharacteristic mistakes coming off the bye week when things should be sharp.
Next week’s Buffalo matchup is intriguing because of what happened last time when the Patriots threw the ball only three times. This one is most likely going to be for the division and Buffalo will be looking to make a statement after the embarrassment in Buffalo a couple of weeks back. The Patriots will be trying to bounce back, and they will be prepared. This team will be just fine. On to Buffalo.