Second-quarter notes: Patriots 24, Colts 17
|11.18.12 at 5:52 pm ET|
•The Patriots first drive of the second quarter ended with a missed 36-yard field goal for Stephen Gostkowski toward the open end of Gillette. (Gostkowski heard some boos after his miss, thus becoming the second kicker who was booed on the afternoon after Patriots fans developed a collective case of amnesia and booed Indy’s Adam Vinatieri when he came on for his first two extra-point attempts of the afternoon.)
•Despite the Gostkowski miss, the Patriots got a break early in the second. On the Colts’ first drive of the second quarter, linebacker Dont’a Hightower knocked one pass down, setting up a third-and-long situation for the Colts. Vince Wilfork followed that up with a batted pass on the next play, forcing Indy to punt. Julian Edelman then woke up Gillette Stadium when he delivered a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. There were some impressive cuts on the play by the former college quarterback, who tip-toed along the New England sideline on the way to the end zone and never really had to break tackles on the way to the third return for a touchdown for his career.
•The Patriots continued a nice run on Indy’s next possession when a Luck pass for Reggie Wayne in the middle of the field — a floater that the quarterback would love to have back — was picked off by Aqib Talib. Talib then did a masterful job on his way to the end zone, directing blockers as he took it all the way back for a 59-yard touchdown return. (On the play, Wilfork was able to get good pressure on Luck, forcing the bad throw. And Steve Gregory delivered a nice block that helped clear the way for Talib on the way to the end zone.)
•The two sides then traded field goals. First, the Colts drew to within 21-17 midway through the second when Luck — who had a couple of balls knocked down and also made a dangerous throw or two — guided Indy on a 12-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a 47-yard field goal from Vinatieri with 5:46 left in the second. Second, the Patriots had a drive with a 15-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski and an 18-yarder to Wes Welker, but ended with a 31-yard field goal by Gostkowski to make it 24-17.
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