New England vs Indianapolis observations

Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2007 by Travis Cody in

CBS does the right thing and leaves Minnesota's blow out of San Diego.

Peyton Manning looks sharp on this opening drive. The Colts are running the ball effectively and have the Patriots' defense off balance to start the game. But the drive stalls and Adam Vinatieri misses a 50 yard field goal.

Well well well. The first big play goes to the Colts as they get a big sack of Tom Brady and hold NE to a 3 and out on the Patriots' first possession. That's the first time this season New England hasn't scored on its opening possession.

Indy needs touchdowns, not field goals. But they did get the first points and that doesn't happen much against NE. So I'd say that the Colts have absorbed the first punch from NE and then delivered several blows of their own.

Indy won the time of possession game in the first quarter, holding the ball for nearly 10 minutes. That's usually the strategy for teams against the Colts. But now NE is driving at the end of the first quarter. And they get the first TD early in the second quarter.

The Colts are really working Joseph Addai into the game. He has run the ball effectively. But more important, Indy is getting him the ball on the outlet pass in the short flat. He's out in space and making big gains, and that is helping Indy control the clock.

Indy gets another big pass interference call. It was a close call and could have gone either way. All I can guess is that they called the NE defender for cutting off the route on the deep ball. That's a tough call on the defender because based on the replay it looked like he had good posittion and played it properly.

The Colts are unable to take advantage of the break and must settle for another field goal. I like the way the Colts are playing so far. They are shortening the game by running the ball and using the short passing game to control the clock. Then they take their shots down the field and have gotten a couple of penalties.

New England is starting to get in an offensive rhythm, which is scary for a defense. But penalties and then turnovers will kill that rhythm quick. The Patriots get a penalty, and then the Colts pick off Tom Brady inside the 5 yard line.

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! Joseph Addai takes the short pass, makes a couple guys miss, and dashes 73 yards for the TD! Addai has accounted for over 180 total yards from srimmage in the first half.

13-7 Colts at the half.

NE takes the opening kick of the second half, and the Colts promptly force another 3 and out.

But then Manning throws an interception and NE is set up on Indy's 30 yard line. Now another NE penalty and another big sack of Brady has the Patriots going backwards.

It looks like Indy gets away with a hook on the receiver on a short pass over the middle, but it doesn't get called. So the Patriots cannot get points out of the turnover and must punt.

Afer a Colts' punt pins NE deep, Randy Moss makes a great one-handed catch on a 17 yard reception. And that gets the Patriots into another nice rhythm.

Indy stiffens again and only gives up a field goal.

GAAAAAAHHHHH! Reggie Wayne dropped a perfect pass and forces the Colts to punt. Wes Welker gets a 35 yard return of the kick.

But the Colts take it right back on a fantastic interception and a big run back! Then tack on a personal foul by NE onto the end of the play and the Colts have 1st down at the 32.

New England gets a big sack, the first time Manning has been sacked at home this season. But the Colts come back with Manning scrambling to the outside and hitting Dallas Clark for the 1st down.

Manning caps the drive with a TD on a QB sneak!

New England hasn't trailed in the 4th quarter this season. In fact, right about this time in most games the talk turns to whether the Patriots are running up the score. Now we should get a look at how they handle adversity.

Not good on the first play. Brady's pass is a little ahead of Moss, who can't catch it. But better on the next play as Brady hits Moss for 15 yards.

Then after nearly throwing another interception, Brady hits Moss deep and the Patriots are in business. That's the longest play Indy has given up this season...55 yards to the 3 yard line.

Moss commits pass interference by pushing off in the end zone. I didn't actually see any extension of Moss' arms on a push. He does have a tendency to do that, but I think he got called by reputation on that play.

Brady throws to Welker for the TD. So I guess the answer to the question of how will NE respond is, they'll drive down and get a score to pull to within 20-17.

Indy is shooting itself in the foot a little now with some penalties of its own. The Patriots get a big pass rush and sack Manning on 3rd down to force the Colts to punt. Welker gets another excellent return to set NE up for a drive in the final 4 minutes to either tie or take the lead.

And just that quick - in three plays - the Patriots get the TD to take the lead.

Now the Colts have about 3 minutes to try and do the same thing.

New England gets a big rush on Manning, forcing a fumble recovered by the Patriots near mid-field. And they get the first down at the 2 minute warning. The Colts are out of times out, so that should be the game.

There you go. New England wins 24-20.

New England's remaining schedule is at Buffalo, Philadelphia, at Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Jets, Miami, at Giants.

Indianapolis' remaining schedule is at San Diego, Kansas City, at Atlanta, Jacksonville, at Baltimore, at Oakland, Houston, Tennessee.


  1. Jeff B says:

    After reading the printed words a bit more carefully this time...

    Great re-cap of the game. Not the outcome I was hoping for though. Speaking of which, it continues to be a bummer of a year for this 49er fan.

  1. Travis says:

    Jeff: Well, I was watching it anyway. Not my preferred outcome either. There was such promise for the 49ers too...but I guess they are still a year or two away.

  1. Danielle says:

    Being a Boston Girl, this was a big game. I gotta say Woooo HOoooo for my Patriots!

    This is Boston's year!

    Much Love!


  1. Travis says:

    Danielle: Congratulations!

  1. Thanks for the recap. And I didn't have to watch the game!
    I know exactly what was almost like I was there.