FOXBOROUGH — Only Bill Belichick and his players know the details of the message, and the coach wasn’t about to reveal them in the aftermath of the Patriots’ 59-24 win over the Colts Sunday.
But it was clear one was being delivered.
The Colts had just taken a 14-7 lead on the Patriots via Andrew Luck’s 14-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton with 1 minute and 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter when Belichick decided to break out a little-used prop. Gathering the defense around him while the offense was on the field, Belichick demonstrated what he apparently wanted done by animatedly drawing it up on the white board.
Whatever he said — and drew — must have had the desired effect, because the Colts didn’t score another touchdown until Hilton’s 43-yard score at 12:32 of the third quarter. By then, the game was long in command for the Patriots — the touchdown cut the Patriots’ lead to 21, 45-24.
During his postgame comments, Belichick deflected a quest about the message he delivered, saying, “We were talking about plays that happened earlier in the game.”
Was there an adjustment made, he was asked?
“No, nothing we hadn’t worked on.”
Belichick also passed on elaborating about the play of newcomer Aqib Talib, who returned an interception for a touchdown but was also beaten for a couple of scores.
“We’ll have to take a look at the film,” he said. “It was great to see him run back the interception for a touchdown but we’ll take a look at everybody. I couldn’t tell you.”
But the coach did suggest he was fairly pleased with the play of the defensive backfield, which had three interceptions — two returned for touchdowns — but allowed Luck to throw for 334 yards and a pair of TDs.
“I thought our guys on defense did a good job,” Belichick said. “We got our hands on a lot of balls — we dropped a few, we caught some. I thought we were able to put some pressure on [Luck].
“Their receivers made some really good catches. There were five or six times where I thought we were kind of draped all over them and it didn’t seem there was much space at all to get the ball in and he got it in and they caught it. Then there were other times we got our hands on the ball and didn’t catch them. There were other times we got our hands on the ball and did catch them.”
In those situations, at least, the Patriots couldn’t have drawn it up any better.