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Third-quarter notes: Patriots 38, Colts 17

11.18.12 at 6:42 pm ET

FOXBORO — The Patriots hold a 38-17 lead on the Colts after three. Here are a few quick notes on the third quarter:

‘€¢The highlight of the quarter for the Patriots came on back-to-back plays. New England was up 31-17 with just over three minutes left when first, defensive end Rob Ninkovich strip-sacked Andrew Luck and came up with the ball on the Indy 24-yard line. On the next play, the Patriots connected on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski to make it 38-17 with 3:22 left in the third. An impressive bang-bang sequence that looks like it will pretty much ended the game for New England.

‘€¢The Patriots started the third quarter with a nice, steady drive that went 76 yards and took 10 plays and 3:53. A 17-yard pass play to Julian Edelman on a little bubble screen — one of the most well-executed plays of the game for the New England offense — allowed the Patriots to pick up a third down to really get things going. An 11-yard run from Stevan Ridley and a 31-yard pickup on a pass play from Brady to Gronkowski got the Patriots into the red zone. Shortly after that, Brady found Edelman for his second touchdown of the day from two yards — a quick slant in — to make it 31-17 early in the third.

‘€¢The Colts’ young offense started to press a little after going down by two scores, and ended up punting the ball away after its first possession of the third quarter. Andrew Luck was able to hang in and make some really nice throws on the Colts’ first drive of the quarter, including one impressive third-down completion to T.Y. Hilton where he looked a lot like Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — a big quarterback with mobility and an ability to keep a play alive with his scrambling ability. However, that Indy drive fizzled out, and the Colts were forced to punt.



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