- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo records a tackle against the Colts.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots linebacker and defensive captain Jerod Mayo admitted the team was disappointed with Sunday's 31-24 triumph over the Colts after giving up 21 fourth-quarter points, the late-game play overshadowing the positives of the first three periods.
"We started off strong, but we didn’t finish well," Mayo said. "We have to learn to put two halves together."
The middle 30 minutes produced inspired play on both sides of the ball, but Mayo wasn't particularly happy with the team's effort in the first and fourth quarters. The Colts embarked on a 19-play, 67-yard drive that ate up much of the first quarter, but New England limited the damage to a field goal despite Indianapolis facing first-and-goal at the Patriots 1.
"Our mindset is to keep them out [of the end zone] in the red zone," Mayo said. "Now we just have to keep them out the rest of the field."
The late-game struggles even diminished Mayo's first career interception. The fourth-year linebacker, who some have criticized for not doing more beyond the tackle numbers, made an athletic play to snare a Dan Orlovsky offering over the middle of the field in Patriots territory early in the fourth quarter (potentially preventing more damage).
"I was just reading the quarterback and broke on the ball," he said. "I don’t remember to be honest with you. I’ll have to go back and watch the film."
And while Mayo said he'd need to do the same to fully critique the Patriots' defensive effort, he knows the team needs more consistency moving forward.
"We always talk about playing your best football after Thanksgiving," Mayo said. "That's what we're trying to do. Unfortunately, in the fourth quarter today, we didn’t do that."