Luck has 3 INT, fumble in 59-24 loss to Colts
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (AP)
Interim Indianapolis Colts coach Bruce Arians was willing to give the
Patriots credit for a dominating performance in Andrew Luck's first
game at New England.
Just don't call it a blowout.
Arians found plenty of fault with the Colts, who had hoped to continue
a four-game winning streak against a team that was one of their biggest
rivals during the Peyton Manning Era. But Luck threw three
interceptions - two were returned for touchdowns - and the Patriots
also scored on a punt return for a 59-24 victory that matched the
highest-scoring game in franchise history.
''I didn't think we were blown out until the third quarter,'' Arians
said after a reporter asked what he could say to his team after losing
by five touchdowns. ''I thought we played a good half of football. A
couple of plays that cost us 21 points; 21 points is the difference in
the game. We gave them those 21 points. So, I wouldn't say they blew us
Luck completed 27 of 50 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns, but he
also sailed a pair of throws into the arms of Patriots who ran them
back - 87 and 59 yards - for touchdowns. Luck also had a fumble that
came one play before Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on a 34-yard
''Obviously, they created a lot of turnovers. You know, when they did
intercept the ball they did a great job of running it back,'' Luck
said. ''They're good enough; they don't need those gifts, per se. But
to their credit, they created those and we didn't. Such is the game.''
Brady threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns for the Patriots in the
first matchup between three-time Super Bowl winner Brady and the No. 1
draft pick who was brought in to replace Manning, the longtime New
The Patriots (7-3) won their fourth straight game and extended their
lead in the AFC East to three games over the other three teams. The
Colts (6-4) had their four-game winning streak stopped by the NFL's
best offense and one of its worst defenses.
Now New England must hurry to prepare for its Thanksgiving night
meeting with the Jets (4-6). New York ended a three-game slide with a
27-13 win over the St. Louis Rams.
For the Patriots, Sunday's win was their most complete in a season in
which they've averaged 35.8 points per game and lost their three games
by a combined margin of four points.
The 59 points equals the team mark set in a 59-0 win over the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 18, 2009.
The Patriots scored on a 68-yard punt return by Julian Edelman and on
interception returns of 59 yards by newcomer Aqib Talib and 87 yards by
Alfonzo Dennard. And Rob Ninkovich's fifth forced fumble of the season
set up Rob Gronkowski's second scoring grab on the next play.
Brady completed 24 of 35 passes for 331 yards and no interceptions.
Luck was 27 for 50 for two touchdowns and 334 yards and set an NFL
record as the first rookie with five 300-yard games. But he also threw
The Colts trailed by only 24-17 heading into the third quarter. Then
the Patriots scored on passes of 2 yards to Edelman and 24 yards to
Gronkowski and Dennard's interception return.
Luck followed with a 43-yard scoring pass to T.Y. Hilton, the second of
the game to the fellow rookie, but the Patriots responded with
touchdown runs of 3 yards by Stevan Ridley and 4 yards by Shane Vereen.
The game began with touchdowns on the first three series - a 1-yard run
by Delone Carter of the Colts, a 4-yard pass from Brady to Gronkowski,
and a 14-yard pass from Luck to Hilton.
Stephen Gostkowski then missed a 36-yard field goal attempt for the
But their fortunes changed four plays later when Edelman brought a punt
back for a touchdown for the third time in his career after the defense
forced Luck into a three-and-out. And just three plays and 61 seconds
after that, the Patriots scored again on Talib's touchdown as the
Patriots took the lead for good 21-14 with 10:59 left in the second
The catch was an easy one - Luck threw the ball high over Reggie
Wayne's head - but the run was exceptional as Talib cut from the right
side of the field all the way to the left, eluding numerous Colts.
The Patriots obtained Talib from Tampa Bay before last Sunday's 37-31
win over Buffalo. But he sat that one out to complete a four-game
suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing
Former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, booed often in a stadium where
he once was adored for his two Super Bowl-winning field goals, cut the
lead to 21-17 on a 47-yard field goal 5:46 before intermission.
Luck Has Tough Day As Colts Fall 59-24
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