Cover your eyes, Colts fans. This game recap is brutal. The team traveled to Foxborough, but left its offense at home.
First Quarter: Colts 0, Patriots 0
Different week. Same story. The Colts cannot get out of their own way. They managed to force a three-and-out on the first drive, thanks to Deforest Buckner and Kwity Paye. However, the offense could not answer the call. Matt Pryor allowed two sacks (one was negated via penalty) in his first three plays (hello, Matt Judon), and Jelani Woods dropped a dime from Sam Ehlinger. That’s 11 straight games without opening drive points.
2 drives for the Colts: – 2 sacks allowed – 0 first downs not aided by penalty – 0 rollouts I truly don’t understand why the Colts are running the same exact offense with Sam Ehlinger as they had with Matt Ryan. OL stinks. Sam is best outside of the pocket. USE THAT!!!!! — Ryan Hickey (@Ryan_Hickey3) November 6, 2022
The defense answered the call again on the Patriots’ second drive, forcing another three-and-out. This time it was a gaggle of Colts: Buckner, Bobby Okereke, Grover Stewart, and Yannick Ngakoue. Surely things would be different with offense back on the field, right? Think again. Matt Pryor is the destroyer of worlds. Matt Judon wrecked him.
Matthew Judon's second sack today! He leads the league with 10.5 sacks this season. @man_dammn 📺: #INDvsNE on CBS 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/YaM2HT1bLx pic.twitter.com/UYtOfyFw20 — NFL (@NFL) November 6, 2022
TThank goodness for the Colts’ defense. Through three possessions, they did not let the Pats across midfield. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the offense. Matt Pryor had his worst showing – another sack. (If you’ve been counting, that’s three.) Pain. The Patriots end the quarter driving down the field into Colts territory.
Second Quarter: Colts 0, Patriots 13
An overthrow by Mac Jones to Rhamondre Stevenson forces the game’s first points – a field goal. During the Colts’ first-quarter drive, Will Fries replaced Matt Pryor, but it did not matter. Another three-and-out. On the flip of the field, the Patriots created a significant punt return into Colts territory. They eventually took the ball down the field with a big push from Rhamondre Stevenson. Deforest Buckner, a one-person wrecking crew, thankfully forced another field goal. The Patriots would lead 6-0 with 8:50 to play.
Of course, the Colts’ offense was doing its defense no favors. Sam Ehlinger was zero of four on passing attempts with 8:45 left in the second, missing several passes. Then, remember the offensive line? First, the illegal use of hands by Braden Smith killed the drive. Afterward, the sky fell. A blocked punt put the Patriots in business.
Pats Punt Block! @Patriots 📺: #INDvsNE on CBS 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/YaM2HT1bLx pic.twitter.com/7vFIGqEY4z — NFL (@NFL) November 6, 2022
A Rhamondre Stevenson touchdown from three yards out brings it all down. More pain. The Patriots scored points on their last three drives. They would lead 13-0 with 6:12 left, despite averaging just 3.4 yards a play on offense. The Colts picked up a first down with 5:13 left in the quarter on the legs of Parris Campbell. Then, Ehlinger nearly threw a pick before being sacked for the fourth sack of the day. (This one is by the rookie Bernhard Raimann.) Up to this point, Ehlinger was two of seven passing with twenty yards.
The Colts’ defense forces a three-and-out with another sack from Deforest Buckner with under two minutes to play. The offense got the ball back and attempted to move the ball on the legs of Ehlinger. They reached Patriots territory with:53 to go. Then, a much-needed big play to Alec Pierce finally showed some LIFE. After talking another sack, the team trotted on Chase McLaughlin. Unfortunately, he missed the field goal.
Lots of pain. For the ninth consecutive time this season, the team trailed at halftime.
McLaughlin whips a 39 FG wide left. Of course. — Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) November 6, 2022
Third Quarter: Colts 3, Patriots 16
A sixth sack of the game and a fifth three-and-out was how the third quarter started. The defense is the gift that keeps giving because a fumble gave this offense new life. (Thank you, Bobby Okereke). The team managed to get into the red zone. However, Matt Judon continued to wreck this game with a back-breaking sack. (That’s SEVEN – the most the team has allowed since 2017!) The Colts finally got on the board, but the Patriots would lead 13-3 with eight minutes left.
SUPERMAN PUNCH OUT. 🥊 📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/ATGYlTkqY8 — Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 6, 2022
On the ensuing drive, the Patriots worked their way into plus-territory, but the defense held the Patriots to another field goal. The score was 16-3 with 4:17 left in the quarter.
The Colts would punt on their possession (officially zero for ten on third downs), with another chance for the Patriots to wreak havoc. But, again, this defense is a gem. They forced a fifth three-and-out of the game with under two minutes to play. Sadly, the Colts did not want to be great. They finished the quarter zero for 11 on third downs, with a fourth-and-one coming.
Fourth Quarter: Colts 3, Patriots 26
The Colts continued what they do best: trailing in the fourth quarter in all nine games. They pitched it to Deon Jackson on fourth-and-one, as if he was Jonathan Taylor, and to the shock of only them, was stuffed.
Mac Jones hit Hunter Henry, a well-known Colts killer (he had 15 catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns before today), for a big play into the red zone. The Patriots capitalize, leading 19-3 with ten minutes remaining.
If you were still watching, the Colts added the eighth sack to the stats. That’s zero for 13 on third downs as well. The defense only allowed four field goals (and the one touchdown after the blocked punt). This offense not being able to score is criminal. They made the Patriots punt again, only for Sam Ehlinger to be sacked for a ninth time with a pick-six to boot. If it wasn’t already, this was a dumpster fire.
Tipped & picked.@justjjones | #ForeverNE 📺: #INDvsNE on @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/EQjT1vCRt4 — New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 6, 2022
That secured the Colts’ seventh consecutive loss at Gillette Stadium. They were zero for 14 on third downs and finished with just 121 net yards of offense. Far from the high expectations of the off-season, the team is now 3-5-1.