Tom E. Curran looks at some Hard Truths of the Patriots' 38-24 win over Indianapolis.
FOXBORO -- The Colts had every excuse to tag out. Coming off a grueling overtime game against Houston, starting the game with just 44 active players rather than 46, down 14-0 early and 24-3 at the break, Indy’s resilience was as much a story this night as the return of the Patriots offensive potency.
IndIanapolis is 1-4 and its losses are narrow ones. It’s a flawed team but it’s also got the arrow pointing up and part of that has to do with the bedside manner of head coach Frank Reich.
He opened his postgame remarks saying, “Just to address it up front, we had a lot of stuff. A lot of banged-up guys going in and I just want to say up front, any questions on that, that is no excuse. We felt very confident going into this game going in. it was what it was, every team deals with the same thing in the NFL.
BEFORE THE GAME, WE SAID . . .
“It’s the hand that is dealt,” he continued. “We didn’t think about it, talk about it the whole week, all we talked about was coming in here and play good football against a good team on the road. And we got off to a slow start, we cannot do that. You can’t have penalties, turnovers, and drops against a good team, against any team, especially on the road. So, we just got to pick up the pieces and I still have a lot of confidence in our players.”
The Patriots, meanwhile, announced themselves right away with their first drive. They varied tempo. They alternated personnel, toggling between fast-break empty backfield, power with fullback James Develin in front of Sony Michel and the pony formation with backs on either side of Tom Brady in shotgun.
It was a reminder of how when they have Julian Edelman, the playbook expands exponentially and yards are easier to come by.
But the Patriots will have plenty to correct as well heading into their game with the Chiefs. They had seven penalties for 50 yards. Bill Belichick noted there were probably more yards to be made on the ground. And the second-half focus on both sides of the ball seemed to slip after the big lead was built.
MORE HARD TRUTHS
- With everyone back, Patriots' offense kicks into overdrive
- Colts' second-half flurry casts slight pall over Pats' win
The Patriots had far more talent on the field than the Colts on Thursday night. It shouldn’t have gotten as close as it did. That New England put up 38 and has plenty to work on is a good thing, believe it or not.
Less than two weeks removed from looking listless in Detroit, the Pats have their mojo back.