1. Eight penalties, a blocked punt and an ejection
The Patriots rarely lose their cool, but they did on Saturday. Safety Kyle Dugger was ejected in the third quarter for a brawl with Colts receiver Michael Pittman. That’s when it became evident this team was all out of sorts.
That unnecessary roughness penalty told the story of New England’s eight penalties for 50 yards. The special teams unit also went offsides on a missed field goal attempt, which gave Colts kicker Michael Badgley another, shorter attempt, which he drilled to make it 20-0. That was after the defense held the Colts to negative three yards immediately after Jones’ interception out of the half.
It was an especially bad night for the typically-stout Patriots special teams. They allowed a blocked punt touchdown in the first quarter, made the aforementioned gaffe on Indy’s field goal attempt, and nearly saw Olszewski add to the turnover total.
On the offensive side, an ineligible man down field penalty halted their drive deeper into Colts territory early in the first quarter. A false start by Jonnu Smith on 2nd and 1 from the Colts 13-yard line upended that drive, which culminated with a Jones interception. An illegal block by Kendrick Bourne ended up forcing the Patriots to punt after they were backed up 10 yards. They didn’t score a point until the fourth quarter.
On the flip side? The Colts had two penalties, fewer turnovers, and executed their game plan eons better. Bad night for the Patriots. This loss needs to be forgotten immediately.