The New England Patriots haven't been perfect, but Tom Brady has been solid and LeGarrette Blount has found the end zone three times as they lead the Indianapolis Colts 21-12 heading into the third quarter of Saturday's Divisional round playoff game. Blount has rushed for just 43 yards on the day, but he's been effective in short yardage in the red zone.
The Patriots' lead could have been even larger if not for a sizable special teams miscue. After a delay of game forced New England to its own 44-yard line on fourth down, the long snapper missed the punter by a mile. The result of the play was a safety, giving the Colts another shot at things.
There's been much talk of Andrew Luck's struggles early in games, and there was more fuel for that fire on Saturday. Luck completed one pass for 7 yards and faced a third-and-2 on the opening possession of the game. He threw a short pass to the left which was intercepted by Alfonzo Dennard, who took it to the Indianapolis 2-yard line. That's when LeGarrette Blount punched in his first 2-yard touchdown to give the Patriots an early 7-0 lead.
Luck responded on the team's third offensive possession. He led the Colts on a seven-play, 80-yard drive that included a 22-yard pass to Griff Whalen on a third-and-6 play and a beautiful 38-yard touchdown pass that sailed down the sideline to LaVon Brazill. Luck also came through on third down two drives later, eventually setting the team up for a field goal.
Still, it wasn't the strongest half for Luck. He completed 11 of 21 passes for 155 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The second interception came late in the half, after Indianapolis earned the aforementioned safety. The Colts were just entering New England's territory when Luck was picked off by Dont'a Hightower.