Halftime analysis: Patriots 17, Colts 3
|12.04.11 at 2:25 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There are two quarters in the books here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots hold a 17-3 lead on the Colts. Here are a few quick notes.
Defensively, the Patriots utilized a 3-3-5 set for much of the first half, with Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love and Andre Carter up front, Niko Koutouvides, Jerod Mayo and Rob Ninkovich at linebacker and a secondary with Matthew Slater, Nate Jones and James Ihedigbo at safety and Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty at corners. (Love was relieved at times by veteran Gerard “Big Money” Warren, while Mark Anderson spelled Carter). Up front, the Patriots were able to get good penetration into the Indianapolis backfield (Wilfork looked extremely active in the early going).
The Colts got nothing on their first drive, but Indianapolis was ale to cash in on their second drive when Dan Orlovsky put together a 19-play 67-yard drive. Indy had a first and goal from the New England one, but the Patriots were able to hold them to a 31-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri tied the game at three early in the second quarter. Offensively, that was pretty much it for Indy. Orlovsky finished the first half 7-for-10 for 73 yards, while Jacob Tamme had one catch for 20 yards for Indy.
Meanwhile, the Patriots were uneven on offense through the first two quarters. New England’s offense stalled out on its first drive and had to settle for a 39-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski midway through the first quarter. The Patriots didn’t get anything on their second series, but on their third series, New England was able to put together its most impressive first half sequence of the last month, as Brady assembled a 16-play, 86-yard drive (that included a 12-yard catch from Chad Ochocinco) that ended with an 11-yard pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots followed that up at the end of the half as Brady led another solid drive. Taking over at their own 36-yard line with 1:34 left, the quarterback marched New England down the field on a six-play, 64-yard drive (that was heavy on the no-huddle) that ended with a one-yard touchdown run from BenJarvus Green-Ellis that made it 17-3 with 13 seconds left in the half. Brady ended the first half 16-for-21 for 158 yards and one touchdown. Wes Welker had five catches for 67 yards for New England.