What we learned during the Patriots’ 59-24 rout of the Colts on Sunday:
A score for Aqib
The much-anticipated debut for cornerback Aqib Talib saw him return an interception 59 yards for a score. However, Talib was about 10 yards behind receiver Reggie Wayne and fortunate that Andrew Luck air-mailed the delivery. The Pats’ big trade acquisition was not great in his debut, getting burned a handful of times, including twice on Luck touchdown throws. However, a few others around him made some nice plays, which may be the biggest change with Talib in the mix. One to watch is Alfonzo Dennard, the rookie cornerback who also had a pick-six. Dennard has three interceptions in his last four games.
Drawing the Line
The primary area of concern entering Sunday was the offensive line, which was without injured guards Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly. While the running game was a relative non-factor for much of the game for the Pats, the reshuffled line did keep Tom Brady nice and clean. New England held an opponent without a sack for the second time in three games. Brady’s been sacked just three times in the last five games. The boys up front continue to do the job.
Remember when Julian Edelman was supposedly stealing Wes Welker’s thunder? Hogwash. That isn’t happening anytime soon, but Edelman was a star of stars for a day. He totaled 222 all-purpose yards, including 68 on a punt returned for a touchdown two more on a touchdown catch and 47 on his only run of the day. Edelman nearly broke another punt return for a score late in the game, only to get snuffed out by the punter as he raced up the sidelines. He was targeted seven times, as many as Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd, but four fewer than Welker, for all of you who were thinking of rekindling that argument.