The Colts’ offense is 7-of-9 on third down and that has been a key on two long drives in the first half. The Patriots’ struggles in this area are two weeks in the making, as the Bills were 7-of-14 on third down last week for a solid 50 percent rate. The Colts hold a time of possession edge of 17:37-12:23. Defensively, the Patriots must have more success on third down if they are to win the game.
Offensively, quarterback Tom Brady is 10-of-10 for 105 yards, but the team has only had the ball for three drives. One ended in a touchdown, another in a three-and-out, and the final drive in a Corey Dillon lost fumble. While the Patriots had one turnover of Peyton Manning, they couldn’t turn it into points. Meanwhile, the Colts turned Dillon’s lost fumble into a touchdown.
The Patriots receive the ball to start the second half, so they’re not out of this one yet. But their margin for error is thin.