Snapshot analysis of the Patriots' 26-3 win over the Colts

Snapshot analysis of the Patriots’ 26-3 win over the Colts

As the clocks rolled back on Sunday, the New England Patriots moved forward with a 26-3 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Head coach Bill Belichick’s team is now 5-4 going into the bye week.

Here’s a look at the 1 p.m. ET kickoff at Gillette Stadium that got them there.

Mac stops a sequence of interceptions

The opening drives both ended in threes and outs. The next one brought a first down and also a punt. But on a November afternoon that felt more like September, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones warmed up just enough.

In temperatures north of 70 degrees, the sophomore starter completed 20 of 30 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. A chipped screen to tight end Jonnu Smith gained 24 yards and set up one of four field goals converted by kicker Nick Folk. Later, tight end Hunter Henry came along the seam for 30 yards.

No interceptions happened in the process. Jones had thrown a pick in each of his five appearances this campaign as well as the last appearance last campaign. This sequence is now in the rearview mirror.

A revamped New England offensive line ran into familiar problems

The Patriots moved offensive tackle Marcus Cannon to injured reserve on Saturday after he was ruled out of the final injury report with a concussion. The three-time Super Bowl champion had started four games in a row. And his absence from the line wasn’t the only one. Center and captain David Andrews also remained unavailable under NFL protocols.

Amid the attrition, New England started Trent Brown at left tackle, Cole Strange at left guard, James Ferentz at center, Mike Onwenu at right guard and Yodny Cadjus recently activated at right tackle against Indianapolis. And 2018 No. 1 pick Isaiah Wynn made the rotation for the 2022 No. 1 pick inside as both faced penalties and pressure.

Four sacks were on the line after the No.10 claimed a career-high six the previous week. These started with veterans DeForest Buckner, Yannick Ngakoue and Zaire Franklin and continued with youngsters Kwity Paye and Julian Blackmon.

Stevenson starter records 70 yards from scrimmage, touchdown

The illness that sidelined Damien Harris for two training sessions and restricted for another put him on the inactive list 90 minutes before kick-off. But with or without the starting title, Rhamondre Stevenson continued to play running back for the Patriots.

The No. 120 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft entered Sunday having already surpassed his rookie total in scrimmage yards. He also withstood a touchdown and a tying touchdown from his previous one.

Stevenson would amass 15 carries for 60 yards, three catches for 10 yards and a one-handed trip to the end zone against a strong Colts front. And that was after having his first pair of points with a loss of seven yards. Stevenson rumbled for a long 16 down the middle. He was joined by Saturday’s 53-man lineup, JJ Taylor, who battled for 17 yards on the change of pace and fell on a teammate’s fumble.

Under duress, Ehlinger throws for 103 yards with a pick six

Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger made his first NFL start in place of Matt Ryan last week at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 2021 sixth-round pick ended up in Foxborough for his next one.

Ehlinger went 15 of 29 through the air for 103 yards and returned an interception for a touchdown. On the field, where his mobility had drawn praise from New England players, the Texas Longhorns product added 39 rushing yards on a handful of scrambles.

Cornerback Jalen Mills crushed a third pass to rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce to cut the opening series short. It was a sign of things to come. Indianapolis didn’t convert a first down without yellow flags until five minutes before halftime. And at halftime, only a missed field goal by kicker Chase McLaughlin was there to show 64 yards and five sacks.

No. 9 up to 11.5 sacks on eventful Sunday for New England front

New England hit Ehlinger at home for nine total sacks on Sunday. Outside linebacker Matthew Judon arrived first on a tackle stunt. He came second on another third down. And he got there once again in the third quarter to force a basket.

Grand Valley State’s back-to-back Pro Bowler now has 11.5 sacks in nine games this fall. He set a career high with 12.5 sacks last season.

Additional strikeouts came courtesy of Jahlani Tavai, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Raekwon McMillan, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Josh Uche’s hat trick. Defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale was also canceled with a penalty for roughing up the passer.

Colts backfield averages 2.5 yards per carry without 2021 First-Team All-Pro

When the Patriots crossed paths with the Colts last December, running back Jonathan Taylor rushed 29 times for 170 yards and a touchdown. The defense would not have to see the reigning first-team All-Pro again on Sunday due to a lingering ankle injury.

In his place, Deon Jackson started for Indianapolis and finished with 23 rushing yards on 11 transfers. Phillip Lindsay and Jordan Wilkins also spelled in the backfield as practice squad elevations.

But a stagnant 2.5 yards per carry with minimal movement became the result against a New England unit that conceded 49 rushing yards to New York Jets running backs on Halloween eve.

Patriots room wide without Parker gropes twice

There would be no DeVante Parker on the pitch for New England. The knee injury he suffered last Sunday ruled him out. And in place of April’s trade acquisition of the Miami Dolphins, second-round rookie Tyquan Thornton started the wide receiver on Nelson Agholor.

He did it alongside Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, who both factored in rushers and gropers when punching.

2019 Paul Hornung Award winner Lynn Bowden Jr. also made his slot debut as a practice squad standard rise. targets.

The Joneses change the pitch on special teams and defense

Marcus Jones entered Sunday averaging an even 14 yards per punt return and 23.7 yards per punt return. There would be more where that came from for the third-round cornerback by Troy and Houston.

The rookie fumbled on the sideline for 23 yards in the second quarter on a Colts’ Matt Haack punt that went 38 yards. He then cleared for 31 yards in the third quarter on a kickoff.

In between, an opportunity for a deep comeback did not present itself as expected. Another Patriots cornerback with the same last name was the reason. Jonathan Jones blocked the punt and undrafted safety Brenden Schooler was there to get it back. Additional points followed. They wouldn’t be the last either. A pick of six from the latter Jones gave New England a 26-3 lead in the final minutes at 16 yards.

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