The game wasn't as close as the final score
Julian Edelman gifted the Colts seven points off of an interception that was entirely his fault. The Colts scored a garbage time touchdown that led to Jamie Collins' incredible blocked kick. It wasn't a one score game. The Patriots were a lot better than the final 34-27 point differential.
The Patriots offensive line was really good
When left tackle Marcus Cannon went down with an injury, the Patriots had to flip Sebastian Vollmer to the left side and insert Cameron Fleming, elevated from the practice squad this week, at right tackle. The offense didn't skip a beat. Cannon's toe injury is definitely worth monitoring because the Patriots are already short at the position with Nate Solder being placed on the injured reserve.
Shaq Mason, David Andrews, and Josh Kline are clearly the favored starters and they did a good job handling the Colts defensive interior, and even had some success generating a rushing attack.
Julian Edelman had a roller coaster day
Other than his dropped pass that led to the Colts pick-six, he also had more than a couple other drops on the day. He was extremely important to the team's early offensive plans, but after his hand injury seemed to affect his receiving ability, Tom Brady started to look towards Danny Amendola more regularly.
Rob Gronkowski made a short appearance
After spending the first half as a decoy, Gronkowski was a major player in the third quarter and even ended up in the end zone. After that score, he went back into hibernation. The Colts dedicated a large portion of their defense to hitting Gronkowski off the snap and used combinations of two or three defenders to keep Brady away from his tight end. The result was an active day for Scott Chandler, and Gronkowski will take the win and a quietly successful day every time.
Dion Lewis was the starting back, but LeGarrette Blount had more chances
Lewis outsnapped Blount at nearly a 3:1 ratio before the Patriots started to run down the clock, but he only saw 7 touches. Blount had 17 touches and two touchdowns. While I'm surprised by the output (the Patriots never seemed to get Lewis involved), Blount continues to absolutely own the Colts in every match-up, with 9 touchdowns in three games.
Chandler Jones had his best half of the season
After a relatively quiet first half, Jones was an absolute menace in the second half. Whether it was drawing holding penalties, forcing sacks, or even tipping the ball in coverage, Jones was everywhere. He still doesn't have the consistency that is needed of a star defensive end, but he flashes his ceiling and it's as high as anyone's in the league.
Malcolm Butler was incredible in coverage in crunch time
When the game was in hand, Butler seemed to make pass break-up after pass break-up after pass break-up to deny the Colts a chance to get back into the game. On a similar note, the rest of the Patriots secondary had an incredible day after the opening drive. Logan Ryan was glue on Andre Johnson, Devin McCourty was great against Coby Fleener, and Justin Coleman had a good day against the third receiver on the field.
The Patriots missed Dont'a Hightower
The Patriots were really missing Hightower in the middle of their defense. Jonathan Freeny is not stout against the run and Jerod Mayo isn't ready to play a heavy role. The Colts had a lot of success targeting Hightower's replacements and the Patriots will be facing some more offensive talent in the weeks to come.
No one should return a punt ever again
It's an automatic flag. Block in the back. Holding. Every time. The officials love being a part of the play and the penalty yardage usually sets the team back up against their own goal line.