INDIANAPOLIS – With a committed and effective Patriots ground game, the Colts played from behind all night on Sunday.
New England’s 42-20 win over the Colts marked just the second time Indianapolis has lost in the last two months.
The Colts (6-4) will stay at Lucas Oil Stadium for the next two weeks with the Jaguars (1-9) on the Week 12 slate for a Sunday afternoon kickoff.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
BETTER TRENCH WORK—The numbers in the run game on Sunday night weren’t anything Chuck Pagano saw coming. From the 19 rushing yards gained to the 244 given up, the head coach was emphatic saying the Colts need better trench play going forward. The Patriots converted 75 percent of their third-down attempts, an area where the Colts defense had been stout in this season.
RED ZONE STRUGGLES – Playing teams like the Patriots, red zone numbers are even more emphasized. The Patriots took full advantage with five touchdowns in their five red zone drives. The Colts couldn’t maintain the same success on their drives in New England territory. This will continue to be a focus of the Colts moving forward.
MORE PRODUCTION FROM COBY FLEENER – One of the bright spots coming out of Sunday night was the play of Coby Fleener. With seven catches (seven targets) for a career-high 144 receiving yards, Fleener exploited several one-on-one chances against the Patriots secondary. That marks back-to-back impressive outings for the third-year tight end and he could see his reps rise depending on…
INJURY WATCH – …the health of Dwayne Allen. Chuck Pagano said after the game that the ankle injury which took Allen out of the game prior to halftime was “mild.” Ahmad Bradshaw also left Sunday night with a lower leg injury. Those two have been vital to the Colts offensive success in 2014 after they both were injured reserve casualties early in 2013.
AFC SOUTH LEAD SHRINKS – The talk after the game on Sunday shifted from potential home field advantage in the playoffs to a tighter AFC South race. With Houston winning at Cleveland, the Colts have a one-game lead in the division. The Colts are 3-0 in the division though and will have three games left against AFC South teams (Jacksonville-11/24, Houston-12/14, @Tenneesee-12/28).
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