Patriots can see Colts are playing for Pagano


Patriots can see Colts are playing for Pagano

FOXBORO -- The Colts have put together a 6-3 record with a rookie quarterback and without their head coach Chuck Pagano.

Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this season and is undergoing treatment while Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has taken on the role of interim head coach.

The Colts have rallied behind Pagano (watch this video shot by the team after its win over Miami in Week 9), and Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork says it's clear that they're playing with him in mind.

"He's fighting. That team is fighting for him," Wilfork said. "That whole city is fighting for him. What's good is we're playing up here. Hopefully that's a plus for us."

Wilfork explained that when a team is playing for something -- or in this case someone -- and emotionally invested in each game, it can make them difficult to play against.

"They're riding high and they playing with purpose," Wilfork said, "so we gotta be ready to play come Sunday."

Game notes: Patriots 27, Steelers 16

Game notes: Patriots 27, Steelers 16

Postgame notes from the Patriots' 27-16 victory over the Steelers, courtesy of the Pats' P.R. department:


-- The Patriots are 6-1 and have won at least six of their first seven games for the eighth time in team history and the sixth time under coach Bill Belichick. The Pats started 7-0 in 2007 and 2015, and 6-1 in 1974, 1980, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2016.

-- The Patriots extended their franchise record of games at the start of a season without an interception to seven. (The previous team record was four, set last year.) The NFL record is nine, set by the 1960 Browns, and the 2008 Redskins had eight.


-- Rob Gronkowski tied Stanley Morgan's franchise record for most touchdowns (68) and most touchdown receptions (67).

-- The TD pass caught by Gronkowski was the 66th he's caught from Tom Brady, putting the two of them in seventh place in NFL history for most quarterback-to-receiver touchdowns. They trail Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison (112), Steve Young/Jerry Rice (85), Dan Marino/Mark Clayton (79), Philip Rivers/Antonio Gates (79), Drew Brees/Marques Colson (72) and Manning/Reggie Wayne (67). Sunday's Brady-to-Gronkowski TD broke a tie at 65 with Jim Kelly/Andre Reed.

-- Gronkowski now has 5,930 career receiving yards, 14th-best among tight ends in NFL history. His 93 yards Sunday moved him past Todd Heap (5,869) and Todd Christensen (5,872).

-- LeGarrette Blount rushed for 127 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season and 13th of his career.