For much of the first three quarters of the game, it appeared that the Indianapolis Colts really did have the Patriots number. Their defense frustrated New England like no team has been able to do thus far this season. They got pressure on Tom Brady, forcing him to make quick throws, and even picked off a pair of his passes.
Trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter, the Patriots put together two touchdown drives, and also shut down the Colts attack, emerging with a 24-20 victory, and moving to 9-0 on the season.
Now, if we’ll see if anything is made of crowdnoisegate. Real or not, you can be sure that if this happened at Gillette, the entire nation would be up in arms.
John Tomase says that the Patriots proved they can still pull off the fourth quarter heroics. Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots storming back to edge the Colts by a nose in the battle of the unbeatens. Shalise Manza Young says this win resulted from a lot of hard work by the Patriots yesterday. David Heuschkel has the Patriots doing something that they had yet to do this season: win a close one. Douglas Flynn has the Patriots able to withstand Indy’s best shot yesterday. Rich Garven notes that we saw some old-time football in the RCA Dome yesterday. David Brown says that the Patriots record may have stayed perfect, but they didn’t play that way. Mark Farinella calls this one a “decidedly imperfect performance” for much of the game for the Patriots. Mike Lowe has the Patriots alone at the top this Monday morning.
Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots defensive strategy, which had them playing Rodney Harrison as a linebacker, shadowing Dallas Clark and limiting him to two catches for 15 yards. Michael Felger says that yesterday marked the official return of the Patriots as closers. Commenting on the lack of playing time for Adalius Thomas yesterday, Felger muses “Maybe Thomas would have been a factor on the worst play for the Pats defense all year: Addai’s 73-yard catch and run for a score at the end of the second quarter.”
The problem is, Thomas was on the field for that play. He ended up being the closest Patriot to Addai when the Colts running back hit the end zone. You can see it clearly in all replays that after Vrabel was unable to corral Addai, #96 is the only white shirt left near him as he scores. Reiss attempts to answer the question of Where was Adalius Thomas?
Christopher Price checks in with his 10 Things We Learned Yesterday. Steve Buckley says that the two rivals didn’t disappoint in their first meeting of the season. Dan Shaughnessy has Coach Belichick trying to downplay this win, which kept the Patriots perfect season going. Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots proved that they are the best so far this season. Ron Chimelis says that this win eclipsed any rout that the Patriots have had thus far. Lowe notes that this was a Sixty minute win for the Patriots.
Jeff Jacobs notes that the Patriots ability to finish off the Colts in the fourth should be seen as a great sign for this team. Karen Guregian says that the Pats didn’t play up to their usual high standards, but didn’t panic and got the job done in the end. Ian M. Clark has the Patriots coming up big when it mattered. Donaldson has Rosevelt Colvin making some huge plays in the fourth quarter in his hometown in front of family and friends. Heuschkel has Colvin able to enjoy this one, in contrast to the last time he was here. Farinella has the Patriots defense able to overcome their mistakes yesterday.
Gregory Lee Jr has Randy Moss featured as the Patriots go-to guy for much of the day yesterday, and the Colts unable to counter. Nat Newell has Tom Brady adding to his collection of fourth quarter comebacks. Young notes that while Brady might be getting a lot of support as the NFL Most Valuable Player, the MVP of the Patriots might be Moss. Garven notes that Brady struggled for three quarters yesterday before figuring things out late. Brown notes that the Patriots new offensive weapons made the difference yesterday. Farinella has the offense able to kick it into another gear when it mattered yesterday.
Art Martone offers up the postgame analysis for this one. Tomase gets comments on the play of the game and the Herald staff reviews the Best and Worst from yesterday. Heuschkel adds analysis with his Patriots Sidelines report.
Bob Hohler has the Colts kicking themselves after this one. Check the coverage from the Hoosier State in the Indy Star. Donaldson looks at red-zone failures by the Colts, which had them kicking themselves.
Guregian’s notebook says that the decision to reduce the playing time of Thomas was strategic, not disciplinary. The Globe notebook has the Patriots setting a team record for yards penalized yesterday, but managing to overcome it. Young’s notebook has Brady setting the team mark for touchdown passes in a season. Garven’s notebook examines a number of facts and figures from yesterday. Brown’s notebook has the Patriots happy to eat some humble pie after that win. Lowe’s notebook has Tom Terrific at the right time.
Those of you who tuned in for the end of the Celtics game yesterday, which was just before halftime of the Patriots game were unable to see Ray Allen’s game winning three pointer because the video feed of Comcast SportsNet was lost. Mike Gorman called the last plays of the game radio-style, but a bad moment nonetheless for CSN.
Matt Richardson on the BSMW Full Court press has a look at the smooth killer that is Ray Allen, as well as some thoughts on Kevin Garnett.
Coach Doc Rivers learned of the death of his father prior to the game, and thus assistant Tom Thibodeau took over on the sidelines for yesterday’s game. Murphy’s notebook and Spears’ notebook each have more on the situation.
The Bruins fell to the Senators for the second straight game, losing at the Garden 2-1 yesterday. Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins losing a third quarter lead. Bud Barth has the Bruins managing a point against the Senators. Rich Thompson has Tim Thomas allowing a man-down goal to allow the Senators to tie the game.
Thompson’s notebook has Chuck Kobasew doing all the scoring for the Bruins in the two games against the Senators. Shinzawa’s notebook has Petteri Nokelainen stepping in for the struggling David Krejci.
David Scott has Boston Sports Review ceasing publication, and also has a look at the glitch at the end of the Celtics game, as well as some Patriots game highlights.