Colts Divisional Game: Colts vs Patriots Game Report Card

Well the Colts season came to an end as they lost to the New England Patriots with a score of 22 to 43. The Colts kept it close for the most part but a 73-yard TD run by LeGarrett Blount made the game unreachable to win. Andrew Luck didn’t have a clean day as he committed four turnovers.

OFFENSE: The Colts offense started the game on the wrong foot as Andrew Luck threw his first interception in the first couple of minutes of the game. This caused the Patriots to be a 14 point hole by the time the Colts could get a touchdown on the board. Andrew Luck completed only 49 percent of his passes and threw for two touchdowns with four interceptions. One of the touchdowns was FB Stanley Havili’s fault as the ball bounced on his shoulder pad to the hands of a Patriots defender. The other interception was in garbage time and it seemed like LaVon Brazill ran the wrong route because of it.

The Colts had trouble scoring in the redzone as the Colts had to keep kicking field goals rather than going for it on fourth down. The running game was a mess as the Colts running backs could only get 69 yards on only 21 attempts. Andrew Luck seemed a little awkward as he was hesitant to run out of the pocket (one carry for five yards). The Colts offense will get some key pieces back in the lineup once the 2014-2015 season start like TE Dwayne Allen, WR Reggie Wayne and OG Donald Thomas so the Colts offense could be better next season after injuries plagued the offense all season long.

Grade: C

DEFENSE: After letting the Kansas City Chiefs score 44 points and making Alex Smith look like a top five QB last week, the Colts let the Patriots run over them (literally) by letting them score 42 points. The defense played at some parts of the game but as a whole it was concerning that the Patriots was controlling the clock for most of the game. LaRon Landry didn’t have a great game as he whiffed on a tackle which let Patriots RB LeGarrett Blount run 73 yards for the score. Also the Colts inconsistent pass rush crept in as they couldn’t get much pressure on Tom Brady. Brady didn’t throw much but it was concerning to see the Colts getting run over by a running back that was traded in the offseason by the Tampa Bay Bucs.

The Colts need to spend at free agency on a pass rusher and a run stopping linebacker as those two areas were a huge concern throughout the season. One quick note: As many Colts fans were mad that the Colts paid too much for Erik Walden, I’m pleased how much Walden has evolved since joining the Colts. We can debate if Walden is worth the contract but he has improved overall as an OLB.

Grade: D+

SPECIAL TEAMS: Overall a good showing as the special teams were able to convert on a botch punt snap with a safety. Adam Vinatieri had a good game converting both field goals. Pat McAfee had a good game as well as he punted five times for an average of 45 yards. Overall a good game for the special teams which was overshadowed by the horrible performance of the offense and defense.

OVERALL: It was a bad showing by the Colts offense and defense as they allowed the Patriots to control the field on both sides of the ball. Luck had a bad day and the defense didn’t do much to stop the bleeding by creating turnovers. If the Colts wants to be a Super Bowl contender then this run-first mentality has to go. Develop Luck properly by letting him control the offense from the start. He may make mistakes but let him not be too dependent on the offensive system as he has shown at times throughout the season. Luck must make a connection to his receivers early rather when Reggie Wayne retires.

The defense must be more disciplined as deep passes were easily converted and breakdown in coverage was happening too much as the season progressed. Having a top-notch safety could benefit the Colts secondary by limiting the opposing quarterback options.