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Week 5 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 24, New England Patriots 38


What you need to know

Indianapolis Colts

Several factors played into the Colts poor offensive showing against the Patriots. The absences of TY Hilton and Jack Doyle definitely hurt. Colts receivers had numerous drops that killed drives, big plays, and one drop led to an interception. I counted 7 drops that would have went for at least 70 yards if they had been caught. Andrew Luck did miss a few throws downfield but played as well as could have been expected. Nyheim Hines handled the majority of the backfield duties. Eric Ebron was the lone bright spot for the Colts offense. Ebron was a matchup problem for the Patriots downfield and made a number of nice plays. Chester Rogers was effective underneath but failed to convert two opportunities for big plays downfield.

New England Patriots

-The offense will continue to gel as it has all its weapons back. Josh Gordon's snap count is likely to rise, and Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Chris Hogan may see less volume. -Run game carries: Sony Michel. Passing game running back: James White. No surprise, but this week showed it in spades.

Indianapolis Colts

QB Andrew Luck, 83 offensive snaps, Pass: 38 - 59 - 365 - 3 TD / 2 INT
Andrew Luck played well against the Patriots but his receiving corps let him down with numerous drops. Luck made throws into tight coverage all game because of the absence of TY Hilton. Luck found a lot of success attacking the Patriots' safeties in man coverage with his tight ends. A blitz caught Andrew Luck off guard resulting in a sack and three and out on the Colts first possession. Luck methodically moved the Colts down the field on their second possession. The drive stalled on the edge of the red zone with two less than perfect throws by Luck setting up a field goal attempt. Luck again moved the Colts into field goal range but the drive stalled when he threw too high for Chester Rogers. Luck had a 17 yard gain and 3rd down conversion negated by penalty forcing a punt. Running the two minute offense before halftime Luck was pressured by Adrian Clayborn and threw behind Nyheim Hines right to Patrick Chung for an easy interception. The Colts opening possession of the second half stalled after drops by Hines and Ryan Grant. Following an interception Luck connected with Ebron for a 14 yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Luck put together a nice touchdown drive to bring the Colts to within 7 points. Luck hit Ebron for gains of 28 and 18 before connecting with Erik Swoope down the seam for a 13 yard touchdown. Luck targeted Zach Pascal who dropped the pass which lead to an easy interception for the Patriots. Luck led the Colts down the field in garbage time for a final touchdown with completions to Hines and Swoope. Luck capped the drive with a 1 yard touchdown to Ebron.

RB Nyheim Hines, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 45 - 0, Rec: 7 - 45 - 0 (9 targets)
Nyheim Hines started the game at running back for the Colts after his strong game against the Texans. Hines was not used as creatively as he was against Houston and found little room to run after making underneath catches. Hines should continue to benefit from the Colts pass heavy attack until Marlon Mack returns to the lineup. Hines ran a quick out route from the slot and gained 5 yards. Hines dropped what would have been a 7 yard gain on 3rd and 6. Hines made a nice contested catch over the middle to gain 7 yards on 3rd and 3. Hines made a 7 yard catch between two defenders on 4th and 5. Hines found a nice crease on a screen pass and picked up 21 yards in garbage time.

RB Jordan Wilkins, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 39 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)
Jordan Wilkins did not see significant action until the 3rd quarter. Wilkins entered the game and exploited two big holes for gains of 5 and 16 yards. Wilkins was stripped by Devin McCourty as he was trying to fall forward for additional yardage. The fumble was recovered by the Patriots. Wilkins promptly reentered the game following the fumble and ran off tackle for a gain of 11.

WR Chester Rogers, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 66 - 0 (11 targets)
Chester Rogers failed to convert a pair of downfield opportunities. Rogers was very effective in the short to intermediate range of the field. Rogers made his first catch running a deep crossing route and picked up 24 yards. Rogers worked back to Luck as he extended the play and made a sideline catch for a gain of 9. Rogers caught a screen pass and gained 8 yards. Rogers made back to back catches underneath for gains of 9 and 4 yards. Rogers dropped a perfect strike from Luck 30 yards downfield. Rogers had an end zone target go through his hands but the throw was slightly off target from Luck.

WR Ryan Grant, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 58 - 0 (9 targets)
Ryan Grant had a pair of ugly drops against the Patriots. Grant dropped his first target running a slant. Grant made a contested catch running a comeback for 8 yards. Grant got open downfield against zone coverage running an in breaking route for a 19 yard gain. Grant dropped what would have been a 20 yard gain running a deep comeback route. Grant made a nice 14 yard catch to convert a 3rd and 10. Grant made an impressive juggling catch for a 10 yard gain on 4th and 5.

WR Zach Pascal, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (7 targets)
Zach Pascal had a game to forget against the Patriots. Pascal struggled to make catches against the physical play of Stephon Gillmore. Pascal made an 11 yard catch despite being held by Stephon Gillmore running a comeback route. Pascal had a pass knocked out of his hands by Gillmore trying to make a catch on a slant route. Pascal could not secure a catch running a comeback route and popped the ball up into the air for an easy interception. Pascal dropped another pass underneath on the Colts final possession.

TE Eric Ebron, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 105 - 2 (15 targets)
Eric Ebron played by far his best game of the season and had more than 100 receiving yards for the first time in his career. Ebron was a match up problem for the Patriots' safeties and looked smooth and fast running downfield. Ebron dropped his first target in the flat. Ebron ran a curl route over the middle and picked up 8 yards on 3rd and 5. Ebron came wide open off of play action and made a nice adjustment to catch an underthrown pass from Luck for a gain of 17. Ebron had a 16 yard gain negated by a holding penalty. Ebron made a catch in the flat for 7 yards. Ebron beat Devin McCourty running a corner route from the slot for a 14 yard touchdown. Ebron beat Patrick Chung deep over the middle for a 28 yard catch and run on 3rd and 10. Ebron again beat McCourty on a corner route this time picking up 18 yards. Ebron made a 7 yard catch underneath. Ebron came wide open off of play action for a 1 yard touchdown.

TE Erik Swoope, 14 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 44 - 1 (3 targets)
Erik Swoope was active as a result of the Jack Doyle injury and did not get involved in the offense until late in the game. Swoope made his first catch down the seam for a 14 yard touchdown. Swope made a 5 yard catch underneath. Swoope made a 26 yard catch on a back shoulder throw from Luck that took the Colts down to the 1 yard line.


New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 34 - 44 - 341 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - -1 - 1
It was a good day for the Pats and Tom Brady, as they stormed their way to a decisive victory. Brady integrated Julian Edelman right back into the mix, throwing his way 3 times on the first drive of the game. Though Edelman was rusty, it was clear his presence made a difference for Brady and the Pats. Brady's two big blemishes on the day were an overthrow of James White on a deep shot that White could have scored on, and an underthrow to Josh Gordon on the very next play. The interceptions weren't his fault, as they were both off drops by Chris Hogan and Gronk. His three touchdowns were fairly easy. One was to Cordarrelle Patterson on a 1 yard screen play. The second was to James White who was left open after a post route from the backfield. The third was a total deep ball prayer in the direction of Josh Gordon, who managed to snag it around two defenders. Pass protection was good, as was the run game, which aided Brady's cause. All in all, a good day for a guy who hit the 500 career touchdown mark.

RB Sony Michel, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 98 - 1, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
For the second week in a row, Sony Michel looked good. He ran with good vision and power, including his long touchdown that saw a nice running lane and stiff arm to boot. He did miss out on a second long touchdown, trying to barrel over a defender in a 1on1 situation instead of using his explosiveness to elude the defender. Still, Michel continues to improve, which is the most important point for his future role.

RB James White, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0, Rec: 10 - 77 - 1 (14 targets)
Once again, James White was the best Pats weapon, moving chains and scoring points along the way. He led the Pats in receptions, scored a touchdown on a post route from the backfield, and nearly had a much bigger day had Tom Brady not overthrown him on a deep ball. White will continue to be an important feature in the Pats passing game even with the return of Julian Edelman, though it's clear Sony Michel has the ground game locked up.

WR Julian Edelman, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 57 - 0 (9 targets)
Back but with some rust to show for it, Edelman was integrated right away into the game plan, catching 3 passes on the first drive of the game. The rust showed on a huge drop on a third down that could have easily gone for 20+ yards, along with a couple other routes that weren't quite 100%. As he gets more and more comfortable out there, he and James White will form a great security blanket duo for Brady.

WR Phillip Dorsett, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (3 targets)
As expected, with Edelman back, Dorsett's role on the team diminished, and he didn't have much to show for his efforts.

WR Chris Hogan, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (4 targets)
Though he played a full complement of snaps, Hogan's dwindling importance continued with Julian Edelman back. In fact, his "biggest" play of the game was a drop that turned into an interception. Truly a microcosm of Hogan's slow season.

WR Josh Gordon, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 50 - 1 (4 targets)
Though he was once again on a limited snap count, Gordon made the most of it, catching Tom Brady's 500 touchdown pass. The ball was a prayer deep shot into the end zone, and Gordon managed to snag it between two defenders in what surely reminded viewers of a Brady-Moss connection. It showed good trust in Gordon, who should continue to work his way to a larger role.

TE Rob Gronkowski, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 75 - 0 (7 targets)
With Julian Edelman back, Gronk was able to get free on several routes for a change, often resulting in the big chunk plays we are accustomed to seeing from him. He did have a drop that resulted in an interception, but that won't be an issue going forward. It's all steam ahead for the big man, who should have bbetter stat lines ahead.