Tom Brady led the way as the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 38-24 in the NFL on Thursday.
Patriots quarterback Brady helped pick apart the Colts' defense, recording 341 yards and three touchdowns
Now coming off back-to-back victories against the Miami Dolphins and Colts, the "What's wrong with the Patriots?" question that arose after week three has been exposed for what it is — a knee-jerk reaction.
Thursday, the Patriots (3-2) looked nothing like that team that lost consecutive games by double-digits, and more like the ruthlessly efficient team everyone expects each year from Bill Belichick.
Here are some thoughts on the Patriots' resurgence, and their win against the Colts.
Edelman's return important, but Brady trusts all his receivers
Much was made of Julian Edelman's first game back after an anterior cruciate ligament injury that cost him all of last year and a four-game suspension to start this season. He and Brady click like few other QB/WR duos in the NFL. Yet Brady trusts all his receivers, and several different pass catchers are capable of stepping up big in any given game.
Edelman had a good night (seven catches for 57 yards). But Brady spread the ball around to eight receivers, led by running back James White, who had 10 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown and Rob Gronkowski (six catches, 75 yards).
And new addition Josh Gordon scored his first touchdown as a Patriot, catching Brady's 500th career TD pass on a 34-yard jump ball against two defenders. This is the Patriots way — spread the ball around and keep the defense guessing.
Michel a great fit for Patriots offense
The rookie out of Georgia had his second consecutive strong game, rushing 18 times for 98 yards a touchdown. Coming off a 25-carry, 112-yard effort against the Dolphins, it appears the Pats are eager to give him more work. This has long been a pass-first offense that runs through Brady, but it works best when there is a strong lead back in the equation. That is why the Pats spent their first-round pick (No. 31 overall) on Sony Michel.
Colts better than record indicates
With the loss, the Colts fell to 1-4. It is certainly no consolation, but they appear much better than their record. Despite falling behind by 21 points at half-time in Foxborough, the Colts battled back to make it a one-possession game, 24-17, in the fourth quarter, before the Patriots struck on two big scoring plays.
That mirrored Indy's performance last week, when they trailed the Houston Texans by 18 but rallied, only to lose in overtime. In week three, they lost a close 20-16 decision to defending Super Bowl champion the Eagles in Philadelphia.
But the Colts have a chance to turn things around, because the schedule makers have smiled on them. They face the New York Jets (1-3) next week, host the 1-3 Buffalo Bills the following week, then travel to the 1-3 Oakland Raiders. Sure, all three of those teams are probably looking at their Colts matchup and thinking, "That's a game we can win," but Indianapolis really could win all three of those to get to .500. If these Colts really are better than their poor record shows, they have a chance to prove it.
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