3 positives from the New England Patriots loss to the Indianapolis Colts

Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Deatrich Wise #91 & Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots positive No. 3: The defense stepped up again

The lasting image from this game will be Jonathan Taylor’s 67 yard touchdown to put the game to rest, officially end the Patriots comeback attempt. However, that one play wasn’t truly indicative of how the Pats defense stepped up again, and nearly gave their offense enough time to turn things around and pull off an improbable comeback.

Similar to how one play doesn’t paint the full picture, the final score is misleading. The Colts scored 27 points in the game, but only 17 of them truly came against the defense. The special teams unit allowed those 10 other points to come about thanks to a blocked punt turning into a touchdown, and an offsides penalty negating a missed field goal, which would promptly be made on the next play.

A final look at the box score doesn’t do justice for the defense’s performance either. Jonathan Taylor will get praise for his 170 yard performance, but if you subtract his final carry of the game (the 67 yard score), he only averaged 3.7 yards per carry, which is a pretty good figure considering he is averaging 5.6 yards per carry on the season. Even Carson Wentz, who played horribly to begin with (5/12, 57 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT) should have thrown at least two more picks than he did.

The defense held up their end of the bargain for pretty much the entire game. Wentz had almost nothing in the air throughout the night, and while it didn’t really seem like it in real time, Taylor struggled to find room to run the football for most of the game. If Dont’a Hightower doesn’t horribly misplay his tackle on Taylor’s final run, there’s a good chance the Patriots would have gotten the ball back with a chance to force overtime.

All this goes to say that defense did their part yet again against the Colts. They eventually broke and let Taylor rip off a big play, but that was bound to happen at some point, and it was honestly surprising that it didn’t happen earlier in the game. So while it won’t go down as their best performance, this was still a very solid performance from the defense, and they will look to keep up their stretch of good play in their upcoming contest against Buffalo.