What a way to flame out after seven straight wins. The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts both battled coming off their bye weeks and it was clear one team benefitted a lot more from the time off.
The Colts took it to the Patriots in dominant fashion (even worse than the final score suggested) and improved to 8-6 behind a relentless rushing attack and an opportunistic defensive showing. They also kept their cool after a few moments got heated.
We had the Carson Wentz-Matt Judon back-and-forth, which we’re still very much confused about, as well as the Kyle Dugger-Michael Pittman brawl that resulted in both players getting ejected. But at that point it was obvious Dugger’s ejection was far more detrimental to his team than Pittman’s was.
Though the Colts would only score once more following the third quarter skirmish, the damage had already been done. Indy got in New England’s head and had them off balance the entire night. The fight, which was the moment everything boiled over, just provided definitive proof of that.
Patriots safety Kyle Dugger getting ejected sums up loss to Colts.
When was the last time we saw a Patriots team appear this undisciplined? Being down 20-0 was embarrassing enough, but committing eight penalties and two turnovers added to the chaos. Additionally, the Patriots got a taste of their own medicine when Colts head coach Frank Reich decided to run the ball down their throats.
Bill Belichick did that two weeks ago on Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills when Mac Jones attempted three passes, and this time around his defense was just as unprepared, losing by double-digit points as Wentz threw just 12 passes and Jonathan Taylor racked up 170 of Indy’s 226 total rushing yards.
The Colts ran 52 plays, 42 of which were runs, and the Patriots still allowed over five yards per play on the evening. Bad games happen, but the timing of this one was horrific. A loss is a loss, but it now feels like the Patriots need to fully rediscover themselves ahead of a season-defining game against the Bills next week (assuming Buffalo handles Carolina on Sunday).
From No. 1 seed to potentially losing the division? Life in the NFL comes at you fast.