Sunday, November 18, 2012
Quick-hit thoughts from the second quarter
By Field Yates
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At halftime of their Week 11 matchup, the Patriots lead the Colts 24-17. Passing along some notes and observations from the second quarter.
1. Edelman rings up big play. Wide receiver Julian Edelman generated the Patriots' first punt return for a touchdown of the season, and the third in his career. Edelman made a number of impressive cuts and jukes and broke a couple of tackles on his way to the end zone, and was propelled with solid blocking down the field. With Deion Branch recently released and Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd playing through injuries, Edelman has been an integral part of the game-plan both on offense and special teams today.
2. Talib makes an impact. How's this for a start? New cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted an overthrow from Andrew Luck and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown, pushing the Patriots ahead for the first time in the game. Though the interception itself required nothing more than a normal effort, Talib's return was a wonderful display of instincts and athleticism. It wasn't perfect from Talib from the first half, but he helped.
3. Gostkowksi misses kick. Kicker Stephen Gotskowski had made 23 straight kicks from under 40 yards entering today's action, but that streak was halted when he missed a 36-yarder in the second quarter to keep the Colts' lead at 14-7. Gostkowski endured some early season struggles, but has since improved and looked to be in a groove during the past month. Both he and former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, now with the Colts, have heard boos from the crowd today.
4. No punts for the offense. The Patriots' offense was effective in the first half, with three drives that each resulted in a shot at points and none that ended with a punt. That was also aided by a defensive score and special teams score, which kept the ball in the hands of Andrew Luck for much of the half. Today marks the first time since October 4, 2010 that the Patriots have scored on offense, defense, and special teams in the same game.
5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were called for penalties in the second quarter: offensive tackle Nate Solder (holding, holding - penalty declined), linebacker Jerod Mayo (illegal contact).