Edelman, Brady, Gordon, White, Gronk ... the Patriots offense looks whole again

On the first play of Thursday night’s game, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady found his buddy Julian Edelman for a completion. And the rest of the night was quite familiar to anyone who has watched the Patriots.

The Patriots were back to their normal machine-like approach. There were too many receivers for the Indianapolis Colts to cover, and Brady always found the one who was open. There weren’t a ton of big plays downfield, just a slaying by a thousand cuts. In other words, Patriots football.

New England’s biggest highlight was probably a nice deep touchdown pass to Josh Gordon, which was Brady’s 500th career touchdown pass. The Colts put up a good fight, considering they were shorthanded, but eventually wore down and lost 38-24.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Edelman has never made a Pro Bowl. Yet, his value to the Patriots seems pretty big, especially this year when there’s no Danny Amendola to replace him. New England’s offense clicks better with him. There was little doubt the offense looked back in normal order on Thursday with Edelman in his first game back from a four-game suspension.

Colts were banged up coming into Patriots game

It was a good night for the Patriots to continue their momentum. They played very well last week in a blowout win over the Miami Dolphins. Then on a short week, the Colts came in with too many injuries to beat the Patriots. They were so injured, they had two players (including fantastic rookie linebacker Darius Leonard) who couldn’t play but weren’t inactive because the Colts’ inactive list was full.

Tom Brady had an efficient night in a win over the Colts. (AP)
Tom Brady had an efficient night in a win over the Colts. (AP)

The Colts played very hard, and Andrew Luck tried his best to keep his team in the game (many dropped passes didn’t help), but Indianapolis was outmanned. After pulling within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Patriots scored two quick touchdowns to put the game away.

This wasn’t a defense that could have stopped the Patriots, Edelman or not. It felt at times like the Patriots were working on things as they get used to Edelman back. Ron Gronkowski had more room to roam and caught six passes for 75 yards. Running back James White had a huge game with 10 catches for 77 yards and a score. Edelman made his presence felt right away with three catches for 28 yards on the first drive; he finished with seven catches for 57 yards. Gordon had his first touchdown with the Patriots. Even though Brady threw a couple of deflected interceptions in the third quarter, one off Chris Hogan’s hands and another that was dislodged from Gronkowski, New England never seemed in danger of losing, even when the Colts made a run.

The Patriots will play better and healthier defenses. But at the same time, the Patriots will also get better than they were through most of September.

Patriots look back on track

New England started the season 1-2, but we all knew what would happen next. They’ve put together two straight lopsided wins and look like they’re back on track.

The defense maybe gave up too many yards in the second half, but that happens sometimes to teams after they take a 24-3 halftime lead. The turnovers on offense were fluky and nothing the Patriots need to worry about repeating.

For all the early angst about the Patriots, they’re 3-2 with a few extra days of rest after playing on Thursday night. They’re still the class of the AFC East. What we saw on Thursday night, at least from the Patriots’ offense, is probably similar to what we’ll see in January. It looked like the same old Patriots as they blew out the Colts.

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Subscribe to The Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast
Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Podcasts

What to Read Next