PASSING OFFENSE: B
QB Peyton Manning completed 38 of 52 passes for 396 yards and four touchdowns. WR Reggie Wayne caught eight passes for 107 yards and a TD. WR Blair White had five catches for 42 yards and two TDs. Eight Colts players caught a pass, but three interceptions gave the Patriots 10 points in a game that the Colts lost by three points.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus
RB Donald Brown got most of the carries (17) and nearly all of the yards (68 out of 71). But, once again, the Colts couldn't get much going on the ground. Indianapolis' inability to find a consistent running game is putting more and more pressure on the passing game to produce every time out.
PASS DEFENSE: C
The Colts sacked New England QB Tom Brady once. While there was some pressure on Brady throughout the game, Indianapolis couldn't do enough — especially in the decisive first half — to get the Patriots' signal-caller out of sync. A dropped interception late in the game could have made a huge difference, but it was a play not made. The Colts did not force a turnover all afternoon.
RUSH DEFENSE: D
The Colts had poor tackling at the point of attack. They allowed two touchdown runs to guys who are basically backups and role players, especially the 36-yarder to Danny Woodhead, who was basically untouched on the run. BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 96 yards on 21 carries were a backbreaker.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
Holding and illegal-block penalties on kickoff returns put the Colts in poor field position in the first half. Indianapolis punted twice for a 40.5-yard average. Rookie WR Brandon James averaged 12.5 yards on six kickoff returns. The Patriots averaged 18 yards on five kickoff returns.
Slow starts on offense have put the Colts in a hole in recent weeks, especially when playing on the road. Too many penalties on special teams have hurt as well. Indianapolis continues to play sluggishly in all three phases of the game. The Colts have won six games this year, but — as Manning likes to phrase it — the season has largely been a grind.
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As down as the Colts' players and coaches feel after Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Patriots, there is a…