Curran's first-half thoughts from Pats-Colts

Curran's first-half thoughts from Pats-Colts
January 11, 2014, 10:00 pm
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The Patriots got to the locker room with their comfortable margin intact but a flurry of weirdness in the final minutes took a little shine off the game.
 
A few observations I observed.
 
When Julian Edelman was bottled up just shy of the sticks on the Patriots second-to-last drive of the half, the Patriots got a spot that was about a yard shy of where it should have been. The Patriots could have challenged but didn’t. They got bottled up on third down and, for a moment, considered going for it on fourth down. But in the midst of running their offense off and their punting unit on, they took a delay of game. After the penalty, long-snapper Danny Aiken launched a snap over Ryan Allen’s head. Allen engaged in some foolishness, the ball squirted loose and it was slapped out of the end zone by a Colt for a safety. Allen should have just kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone, taking the safety. Instead, he tried to make a play and he injured his shoulder. Stephen Gostkowski took the punting duties over but now there’s a concern for the second half if it comes down to a kick.
 
Meanwhile, after the Patriots ended the Colts drive with a Donta Hightower interception off a ricochet, the Patriots took over at their own 36 with 1:04 left, Instead of attacking, they handed off, called timeout, then handed off again. On third down, they tried a low-percentage wheel route to Shane Vereen that fell incomplete. Not a big deal but the momentum generated in the first 25 minutes of the first half dissipated a bit in the final five minutes.
 
Donta Hightower had a terrific half in run support and coverage. … Jamie Collins has taken up the slack for Brandon Spikes at linebacker. The Colts managed just 35 yards on 12 carries on the ground so no blood there. … The Patriots ran it 25 times and threw it 11 times in the first half. The Colts were almost the opposite, throwing 21 times and running 12.