By Danny Cox
The Indianapolis Colts came back from 28 points down to the Kansas City Chiefs last week and won the game. This week, they were determined to keep pace with the New England Patriots and make it a win that wasn’t nearly as stressful.
Had it not been for Andrew Luck’s repeated errors and a porous defensive line, the Colts very well could have kept it closer and possibly stayed alive in the NFL playoffs. A good season ended with a poorly played game that was not indicative of how well this team did throughout the year.
Coaching Grade: B
Chuck Pagano seemed to have a good game plan, but it just wasn’t executed well. The Colts went down 14-0 quickly, but then closed it to seven. Then, they were down 21-7, but were able to close it back to 21-15. After Steven Ridley put the Pats up 29-15, Luck brought them back with a 35-yard pass to LaVon Brazill.
It was a great back and fourth game until LeGarrette Blount opened things up with his 73-yard touchdown and then Luck’s third interception. Pagano had yet another great year with the Colts, but their playoff execution of his plans was poor.
Offense Grade: D
Things went pretty good at times, but Andrew Luck can’t continue turning the ball over like he does and expect to have his team win. Three interceptions last week against the Chiefs and four more this week against the Patriots.
A statistic like that makes it improbable that there would even be one victory, but definitely not two. Indy truly could have kept up with the Patriots and honestly should have been far ahead on a number of occasions, but the turnovers just killed any chance of that ever happening.
Defense Grade: F
There is no easy way to say this, but there was just no possibility that the Colts could win by the way the defense played. New England has Tom Brady and a host of talented receivers, but they didn’t even need them.
LeGarrette Blount ran all over the Colts as if they weren’t even on the field at times. He ended the game with four touchdowns while Steven Ridley added two more on the ground.
One would think the Patriots had astronomical numbers with 43 points, but not so much. Brady had only 198 yards passing and no touchdowns, but Blount had 166 yards rushing. With Luck’s four picks, the Patriots usually had a short field to work with.
Special Teams Grade: B
Adam Vinatieri was pretty much his usual Mr. Automatic as he hit both his field goal attempts with a long of 36.
Pat McAfee punted five times with an incredible average of 51.8 yards per boot. He had a long of 58 yards and helped pin the Patriots back, but the turnovers also made his efforts seem worthless.
The return game did very little for giving the Colts good starting field position all day.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.