Rapid Reaction: Indianapolis Colts
January, 11, 2014
By Mike Wells | ESPN.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few quick thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 loss to the New England Patriots.
What it means: Colts coach Chuck Pagano said trying to tackle Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount was similar to attempting to take down a “greased pig at the county fair.” It turns out Blount was too slippery for the Colts. Blount set a Patriots playoff record when he rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns on 24 attempts Saturday. The Colts were within seven in the fourth quarter, but Blount’s 73-yard touchdown essentially iced the game for New England. The Patriots ran all over the Colts, finishing with 234 yards and six touchdowns. The 234 yards rushing were the most Indianapolis gave up all season.
Poor play by Luck: It would be easy to point the finger strictly at the defense, which gave up 419 yards. But Colts quarterback Andrew Luck continued his struggles against the Patriots. Luck threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns but he also increased his turnover total to eight -- seven interceptions and a fumble -- in two games against New England. Luck’s ability to lead the Colts back from 28 points behind in the second half against the Kansas City will be talked about for some time, but his seven interceptions in two playoff games can’t go unnoticed, either, especially when he only threw nine picks in the regular season.
Hilton steps up again: The Patriots went into the game with the intention of slowing down receiver T.Y. Hilton, Luck’s primary target. It didn’t work. Hilton had four catches for 103 yards despite being defended by cornerback Aqib Talib for most of the game. Hilton, who was thrust into the go-to role once Reggie Wayne was lost for the season in Week 7, had 17 catches for 327 yards and two touchdowns in two playoff games.
Setting a record: Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri set the playoff record for most PATs when he made his first one in the first quarter. The 41-year-old Vinatieri now has 60 PATs in his playoff career. Vinatieri will likely extend that total next season, but it’s uncertain where that will happen because he’ll be a free agent.
What’s next: The season is complete.