For the middle 30 minutes of yesterday’s game, the Patriots played well. The first 15 and final 15 – not as much. The Patriots withstood three fourth quarter touchdowns from the Indianapolis Colts and managed a 31-24 win at Gillette Stadium to move to 9-3 on the season.
Let’s get right to the grim analysis.
Ten Things We Learned Sunday: Despite win, Patriots lack finishing touches – Chris Price has the fourth quarter as the big story.
Scary secondary: Even Colts torch Patriots DBs – Ron Borges has the Patriots embarrassed by the Colts in the fourth.
Even with win, this defense still can’t be trusted - Hector Longo isn’t confident in the “bend-and-nearly-collapse” Patriots defense.
Unfinished product - Mark Farinella has the Patriots continuing their way to a “fraudulently high seed.”
A good unhappy ending? – Bob Ryan says that this one left fans with plenty to worry about.
Dangerous experiment: Bill Belichick’s plan almost goes awry – Karen Guregian has the mad scientist’s lab work nearly causing an explosion. Tom E Curran says that Belichick’s decisions with the lineup show that he, contrary to his words earlier in the week, did not take the Colts seriously.
Now that we got all of that out of the way, there were a few positives to take away from yesterday:
Patriots better than it seemed – Mike Reiss calls for a little perspective.
Gronkowski leaving his mark – Greg A Bedard notes that this Gronkowski guy is pretty good.
Tom Brady Follows Very Simple Game Plan to Victory Over Colts and Other Leftover Patriots Thoughts - Michael Hurley with a bunch of thoughts and screengrabs from yesterday.
On field, a clean Slater – Monique Walker has Matthew Slate doing pretty well at safety yesterday.
Brady excelled at accelerator – Michael Vega notes that when the Patriots were in the no-huddle, they were almost unstoppable.
Grab bag of numbers for Welker – The Globe notebook has Wes Welker once again putting up all sorts of numbers. The Herald Patriots Notebook has Peyton Manning getting encouragement from the Gillette fans. The Patriots Journal has center Nick McDonald getting a baptism by fire in his NFL debut.
Pedro fires Sox salvos - Michael Silverman has Pedro Martinez weighing on on the Red Sox collapse.
Different approach from Red Sox? – Gordon Edes looks at what to expect from the Red Sox at the winter meetings.