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."

Belichick: Pats see Garcia as left tackle

Belichick: Pats see Garcia as left tackle

FOXBORO -- The bullet points from Bill Belichick on the team’s second pick in this year’s draft, Troy left tackle Antonio Garcia:

- He’s a person.
- He’s a left tackle. 
- He has played tackle and will play tackle. 
- He visited with the Patriots. 
- We’re not sure if he’ll play guard at any point. 
- We’ll see how it goes. 

That’s generally as forthcoming as Belichick was regarding Garcia, a player for whom the Pats moved up from No. 96 to No. 85. Garcia’s selection came two picks after the team made Youngstown State pass-rusher Derek Rivers their first selection of the draft at No. 83. 

“He was here last week; [we] had a good visit with him,” Belichick said of Garcia. “So we’ll see how that goes, but we think he’ll be competitive. He’s done a good job for them down there.” 

Asked whether the lanky 6-foot-6 player could play guard, Belichick was noncommittal. 

“I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “He’s played tackle. He’s got the length and I think the athleticism to play tackle, but we’ll see how he does. I don’t know.” 

As for which side, Belichick viewed Garcia “primarily” as a left tackle.  
 

Stars, studs and duds: Bradley delivers another two-way gem

Stars, studs and duds: Bradley delivers another two-way gem

CHICAGO – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s series-clinching 105-83 Game 6 win over the Chicago Bulls.
 
STARS
 

Avery Bradley

He delivered yet another two-way gem for the Celtics, scoring nine of his 23 points in the first quarter that set the tone for Boston’s win.
 
Jimmy Butler

Gutsy performance by Butler whose sore knees didn’t allow him to be as explosive as he’s accustomed to at both ends of the floor. He still managed to score a team-high 23 points along with grabbing seven rebounds.
 
Al Horford

It’s almost to the point where you expect Horford to deliver a balanced scoring line. In Game 6 he had 12 points, 7 assists and six rebounds.
 

STUDS
 
Isaiah Thomas

His shot wasn’t falling (he was 4-for-12), but Thomas still managed to make his presence felt. He finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.
 
Robin Lopez

He has had better games, but he still finished with a decent stat line with 10 points and five rebounds.
 

DUDS
 
Dwyane Wade

Absolutely brutal night for Wade who may have played his last game for the Bulls if he decides to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent. He had just two points, missing nine of his 10 shots from the field.