“Patriots-Colts matchup has makings of a blowout,” the headline of a preview story prior to Sunday night’s clash between the two teams read on the star-telegram website.
The game was far from it. The Colts led the game at halftime 21-20, but were shut out until the final two minutes of the game. The final score was 34-27.
‘We gave ourselves a chance at the end to score a touchdown, and recover an onside kick, but it just didn’t work out,” head coach Chuck Pagano said.
The Colts used aggressive play calling, like the surprise onside kick in the second quarter and the third quarter fourth down play call, that has some people questioning what was actually going on.
Pagano said the play was worked on during practice, and the problem on the field was a communication breakdown that he needs to fix.
“It’s on me, not those players,” he said.
One thing Pagano said was a problem for the Colts was all of the penalty yards they racked up. They had nine penalties for 103 yards, and five of them were holding penalties.
Pagano said that they didn’t want to leave any “bullet in the gun” when it came to the aggressive play calling, but they needed the offensive line to play well and execute well, so they could be aggressive. The offensive line allowed the Patriots to sack Andrew Luck three times, and Luck repaid the team with his best statistical game of the season.
Luck had 312 yards and three touchdowns. For the first time this season, he didn’t throw an interception. Frank Gore had 13 carries for 78 yards, as the streak of 46 straight games without a 100 yard rusher continues.
The Colts’ next four games are against opponents whose total records equal 19-5 with the Saints taking up four of those losses. The Saints just happen to be the next team the Colts have to play. Pagano said that the Colts have to move on from this loss and focus on the Saints.
“We can’t have a hangover, we have to get passed this, and go out and get the next one,” he said.
The Colts play the Saints at home next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2011, the season that the Colts went 2-14 and lost to the Saints in a blowout game, 62-7.