- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Thoughts on theIndianapolis Colts’ 31-24 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium:
What it means: The Colts are 0-12, but get some credit for fighting back from a 31-3 deficit to get within a touchdown at the end. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky's final line -- 30-of-37 for 353 yards, two touchdowns and an interception -- gave him a 113.2 passer rating, less than 3 points off Tom Brady’s. But the bulk of Orlovsky’s completions and yards came after the Patriots had built a significant cushion.
What I didn’t like: The Patriots top two passing targets had their way with the Colts. Wes Welker was targeted by Brady 11 times and caught the pass all 11 times. Tight end Rob Gronkowski had two receiving touchdowns and one on what was judged to be a lateral. The Patriots scored on four touchdowns and a field goal on five of their first six possessions. On offense, running back Delone Carter lost a fumble, and such moments negate whatever confidence he’s built up during the week in practice from the coaching staff.
What I liked: Again, take it in the context of New England’s big early lead, but the Colts allowed on 3.0 yards per carry, converted 10 of 15 third downs and gained 437 net yards.
What’s next: The Colts travel to Baltimore for another very difficult AFC matchup that in recent years has typically had big playoff implications.