Luck takes the blame for Colts loss to Patriots

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Luck takes the blame for Colts loss to Patriots

FOXBORO -- Andrew Luck angrily ripped at the chin strap of his helmet as he walked off the field. He had just thrown his second interception of the night, which was returned 87 yards for a score by Patriots rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.

One play into the fourth quarter, New England led, 45-17, and the game was effectively over.

Luck would later add another a third interception to his list of blemishes, which included a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown by new Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, and a fumble that was recovered by the Patriots in the third quarter.

"Just blame myself for committing four turnovers on my part," Luck said after losing to the Patriots, 59-24. "And two of those for immediate touchdowns. But the Patriots did a good job."

New England's defense showed improvement in the win, but it was provided with opportunities to make big plays in large part because of the mistakes made by Indianapolis' rookie quarterback.

Luck's first interception, picked off by Talib, was an overthrow in the middle of the field. The Dennard interception was an out-pattern intended for Reggie Wayne that was thrown late.

Luck nearly caught Dennard during the return but dove and came up with nothing. On the sideline he was stopped by interim head coach and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for what looked like a pep talk for the crestfallen 23-year-old.

It wasn't.

"Fundamentals. I mean, you can't throw an out pattern late," Arians responded bluntly when asked about his conversation with Luck. "We talked about it, and he was mad at himself. That's the beauty of it. He'll come up and tell you exactly what he's thinking . . . It was something that he knew he couldn't do, and he did it anyway. I don't think he really thought that Reggie was gonna be there clean and he threw it out there. The throw was late and inside and you can't do that."

Arians did provide a glass-half-full perspective on Luck's day. He was the Colts quarterbacks coach in 1998 when rookie Peyton Manning played in Foxboro for the first time and threw three interceptions in a 29-6 loss.

"It was a lot better day than when Peyton Manning came up here for the first time," Arians said. "I was there that day."

Luck was 27-for-50 for 334 yards and two touchdowns. It was his fifth game of the season with 300 yards passing, breaking the record for 300-yard games as a rookie.

He also made a few plays that provided a glimpse into his potential, proof as to why he was selected with the first overall pick in this year's draft, and why he's so widely renowned through just 10 games as a professional.

In the first quarter, he made a pinpoint throw to TY Hilton in the middle of the field to beat Talib for a 14-yard touchdown. In the third quarter, he completed a 16-yard pass in a third-and-long situation with Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich draped on his back.

"Andrew has got all of the abilities, physical, mental, leadership-wise," said Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, who has played with both Manning and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during his career. "He is turning into a very good -- a very, very good -- quarterback, and he's gonna continue to grow and get better. He's fun to watch. Obviously we got a young team and we all make mistakes, but it's enjoyable watching him play because I know that at any given time he can go and put a bunch of points on the board. I love having him on my team."

The Colts can live with the plays that make Luck want to rip his chinstrap in half. But Luck had hoped to avoid them on Sunday, knowing he would have to be sharp to keep up with the Patriots.

Instead, Luck's first performance against Brady, a quarterback Luck has watched for years, was far from the dream scenario he might have conjured up as a kid.

"It sucked tonight," Luck said, "because we lost by however much."

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi back in left, Buchholz on mound

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi back in left, Buchholz on mound

A night after his spectacular catch in left field that took a home run away from the Rays’ Scott Souza, rookie Andrew Benintendi is back in the Red Sox lineup, batting ninth and playing left, as they continue their four-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Red Sox won the series opener Monday, 6-2, with help from Benintendi’s catch and David Price’s pitching. 

Clay Buchholz gets another start in place of Steven Wright (right shoulder) for Boston. Buchholz (4-9, 5.42 ERA) is coming off a strong six-inning start in a 4-3 loss in Detroit on Thursday in his previous start.

Right-hander Chris Archer (7-16, 4.18) will try to avoid his 17th loss for the Rays. 

The lineups:

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Sandy Leon C

Travis Shaw 3B

Andrew Benintendi LF

Clay Buchholz RHP

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller 1B

Tim Beckham SS

Logan Morrison DH

Scott Souza RF

Cody Dickerson LF

Bobby Wilson C

Chris Archer RHP 

Brady throws well in return to practice; Sheard back for warm-up period

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Brady throws well in return to practice; Sheard back for warm-up period

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady spent part of Tuesday's practice, his first since Wednesday of last week, showing Patriots football reseach director Ernie Adams exactly how he pierced his thumb with a pair of scissors leading up to the Patriots-Bears preseason game. 

After that, during the media availability portion of the team's practice, Brady appeared to throw accurately and with good velocity without any sort of bandage or wrap on his injured thumb. 

Brady was excused from Sunday and Monday's practices for non injury-related reasons. When asked about his absences during a press conference before Tuesday's practice, Brady replied, "I just had to take care of something. It's good to be back with the team. I missed everybody."

Another notable returnee to the practice field was defensive end Jabaal Sheard, who according to the Boston Herald is dealing with a sprained MCL. Sheard warmed up with the Patriots but then headed to a lower field -- along with Tre' Jackson (on the physically unable to perform list), Danny Amendola (also on PUP), Rob Ninkovich (torn triceps), Malcolm Mitchell (dislocated elbow) and Shea McClellin -- in order to do some conditioning. 

Sheard was injured during New England's preseason opener against the Saints and had not been seen on the practice field until Tuesday. Sheard has been present in the Patriots locker room recently and moving without any apparent limp. 

Patriots safety Patrick Chung was also on the field and participating after missing the start of Monday's practice. 

Shaq Mason, Jonathan Cooper, Rob Gronkowski, Alan Branch, Sebastian Vollmer and Dion Lewis were not spotted Tuesday: Lewis and Vollmer are still on PUP and will not be ready for the start of the regular season; Branch has been suspended by the Patriots since before the Bears preseason game; Mason (hand) and Cooper (foot) are dealing with injuries; Gronkowski has not practiced since suffering an injury against the Bears in a practice last week, but he was spotted walking through the locker room on Tuesday trying to catch his breath and sweating. 

Tuesday, Aug. 23: What about NHLers in Olympics?

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Tuesday, Aug. 23: What about NHLers in Olympics?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while appreciating all the birthday wishes I got yesterday while turning 42 years old.

*With the World Cup of Hockey around the corner, there is still a decision pending on NHL players participating in the Olympics.

*With the Winnipeg Jets and Jacob Trouba still unable to agree on a contract extension, some are wondering about comparable contracts for the young D-man.

*In the strict interest of self-promotion, here’s my radio hit with Pete Sheppard and Jimmy Murphy on the Bruins from Monday afternoon.

*Marek Zidlicky is still a free agent option for teams seeking a cheap solution on their back end.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has the Ottawa Senators and Cody Ceci agreeing on a two-year contract extension after a summer without a deal.

*The Minnesota Wild do the right thing and officially change their goal song to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” for next season.

*For something completely different: there will be a "Hamilton" documentary and the question will be whether I see that before I see the actual play.