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Patriots vs. Colts: New England defeats Indianapolis 26-3, improves to 5-4

New England improves to 5-4 on the season.

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots (5-4) returned home in Week 9 and defeated the Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1) 26-3. In what was a slow game by both offenses, the Patriots defense dominated Indianapolis, sacking Sam Ehlinger nine times while also recording a pick-six.

New England’s special teams also played a major role with a block punt to set up their only offensive touchdown of the day.

With the Patriots now at 5-4 entering their bye, here’s everything that went down at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

Final Score: Patriots (5-4) 26 : 3 Colts (3-5-1)

Sunday, November 6, 1 p.m. ET | Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA | Broadcast Information | Inactives

First quarter

The Indianapolis Colts won the toss and deferred, giving the ball to Mac Jones and the Patriots to begin Sunday’s contest. New England’s offense got off to a slow start, as Rhamondre Stevenson lost two yards on his first carry before Mac Jones fired two incomplete passes. New England then punted.

Matthew Judon made his presence felt on the Colts’ first possession, recording a three-yard sack on the first play from scrimmage. The Patriots then got home again on third-down, but a roughing the passer penalty on Daniel Ekuale - who appeared to hit Sam Ehlinger in the head - gave Indianapolis a first-down. Indianapolis was not able to take advantage and punted back to New England, after a pair of incomplete passes and a five-yard carry.

New England’s second drive of the game had similar results to the first. A pair of Stevenson runs resulted in zero yards before Jones was sacked on third-down. Bailey’s 36-yard punt then set the Colts up at New England’s 42-yard line.

After two runs by Deon Jackson and Ehlinger for two combined yards, Matthew Judon got home on a well-executed T/E stunt with Daniel Ekuale for a third-down sack.

The Patriots third-offensive drive got to work with J.J. Taylor, who recorded his first two touches of the season. On third-and-one, Jakobi Meyers motioned under center to sneak for a first-down. That was the only first-down New England could muster, as Jones was sacked on second-down and eventually punted back to Indianapolis.

The Colts continued to have little success on their third drive of the game. Deon Jackson picked up five combined yards on two carries before Ehlinger was sacked by Ja’Whaun Bentley on third down - with another quality assist from Ekuale. Indianapolis punted back to New England.

Second quarter

The Patriots offense finally found some life on their next drive, thanks to a strong call from Matt Patricia. Staying under center on first-down, New England hit a play-action screen to Jonnu Smith who took it 24 yards. The next play, Stevenson found room for an 11-yard carry to move into Colts territory. After a short end-around to Kendrick Bourne and six-yard completion to Meyers, Jones’ third-down pass to Stevenson downfield fell incomplete. Nick Folk nailed a 49-yard field goal to get New England on the board. [Patriots 3 : 0 Colts]

Indianapolis continued to keep the ball on the ground for back-to-back plays to start their next drive, but there was little success yet again. On a third-and-seven, Ehlinger’s pass downfield to Michael Pittman fell incomplete.

Starting with strong field position after a 23-yard punt return from Marcus Jones, Mac Jones found Hunter Henry on back-to-back completions. On a third-and-one, Stevenson got two to pick up the first-down. After a holding penalty put New England in a first-and-20 situation, Stevenson picked up 18 total yards on his next two carries, but a third-down pass to the back fell incomplete. Nick Folk hit his second straight field goal - this one from 43 yards - to extend New England’s lead. [Patriots 6 : 0 Colts]

The Colts started their next drive with just under nine minutes remaining in the half, and continued to struggle offensively. After originally converting a third-and-eight, Ehlinger’s completion was negated due to an illegal use of hands. On a third-and-18, Ehlinger’s pass came up short of the sticks. Matt Haack’s punt was then blocked by Jonathan Jones and recovered by Brenden Schooler at Indianapolis’ three-yard line.

Two plays after the punt block, Jones found Stevenson in the end zone for a three-yard score. [Patriots 13 : 0 Colts]

With just over six minutes remaining in the half, the Colts picked their first first-down in their last five drives as Ehlinger found Harris Campbell for 11 yards. On the following third-down, Josh Uche got home for an eight-yard sack to force a punt.

Taking over with 3:18 left in the half, the Patriots turned to Stevenson who picked up 14 yards on three straight touches. After an incompletion to Tyquan Thornton, Jones was then forced to slide and be sacked on third-down.

Ehlinger started the Colts two-minute drill with his legs, picking up five and then nine yards on back-to-back scrambles. On a first-and-five after a New England encroachment penalty, Ehlinger hit Jackson for a five-yard conversion. The next play, Elinger hit Alec Pierce for a 23-yard completion who beat Jack Jones - who got picked - on a crosser. Facing a third-down later on the drive, Ehlinger was forced out of the pocket and pushed out of bounds by Josh Uche for a sack. Chase McLaughlin’s then pushed his 39-yard field goal wide left.

New England kneeled to end the half.

Third quarter

Starting with the ball in the second half, the offensive struggles continued for the Colts. Ehlinger’s second-down pass was incomplete as he faced some heavy pressure from Jahlani Tavai up the middle. The Indy QB was then taken down by Uche - his third sack of the day - on third-down.

After a three-yard loss by J.J. Taylor to start New England’s first dive of the half, a screen to Jakobi Meyers resulted in a fumble, which Indianapolis recovered.

Starting at New England’s 40-yard line after the turnover, Ehlinger hit Pittman for seven yards which was followed by a five-yard gain by Jackson on the ground. Jackson then hauled in an eight-yard reception on the next play before staying down with an injury. On an eventual third-down after the injury break, Matthew Judon went basically untouched into the backfield to bring down Ehlinger for a sack. Chase McLaughlin then connected on a 40-yard field goal to get the Colts on the board. [Patriots 13 : 3 Colts]

A 32-yard kick return by Marcus Jones set New England’s offense up at the New England 33-yard line. After a completion to Tyquan Thornton and run by Stevenson, Jones hit Meyers on back-to-back plays for six and 17 yards. Two more looks to Thornton downfield and then Stevenson in the flat fell incomplete, forcing a field goal. Nick Folk banged it home from 43 yards. [Patriots 16 : 3 Colts]

Ehlinger went to work with his tight ends to start Indianapolis’ next drive, finding Jelani Woods and Mo-Alie Cox on back-to-back completions. On third-down, Ehlinger again looked for Woods down field, who appeared to haul it in, but the pass was then deemed incomplete. The Colts punted back to New England.

New England’s offensive struggles continued next drive, as the Colts’ interior pressure continued to cause havoc. On third-down, Jakobi Meyers appeared to have made a circus catch along the sideline, but was not able to get his feet down. New England punted back to Indianapolis.

Indianapolis’ next possession started with a five-yard completion to Pittman and a four-yard scramble by Ehlinger. After getting stuffed on third-and-one, the Colts went for it on fourth-and-one. On a pitch outside to Jackson, the Patriots stopped them short for a turnover on downs.

Fourth quarter

Back with the ball at the Colts 45-yard line, Jones threw a strike down the seam to Hunter Henry for 30 yards on third-and-nine. Following two touches to Stevenson, Jones found Meyers for five yards and a first down. After two Stevenson carries combined for negative three yards, Jones slid on third-down for a zero-yard sack. Nick Folk then connected on a 28-yard field goal. [Patriots 19 : 3 Colts]

Ehlinger’s check down on their next possession was blown up by Jack Jones, forcing an incompletion after a hard hit. On the next play, Deatrich Wise and Jahlani Tavai combined for a 15-yard sack, helping lead to a Colts punt two plays after.

Taking over with eight-plus minutes remaining in the game, Jones found Henry on third-down for a conversion. That was all the success for New England’s offense, as they then punted back to the Colts three plays after.

The Colts offense continued to go backwards, as Ehlinger was sacked for the ninth time today, this time by Raekwon McMillan. On third-down, his pass soared high and was intercepted by Jonathan Jones, who took it 16 yards for a touchdown. [Patriots 26 : 3 Colts]

With under four minutes remaining in the game, Ehlinger scrambled for a 19-yard gain before finding Alie-Cox for eight yards. Three straight incompletions then turned the ball back over to the Patriots.

New England kept the ball on the ground to kill the clock, as J.J. Taylor recorded three straight carries. Bailey’s punt with 30 seconds remaining went for just seven yards.

Indianapolis ran out the clock. [Patriots 26 : 3 Colts]

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