EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 12, 2014

Nameless, faceless and fabulous

New England defense takes Luck out of the equation at Foxboro

FOXBORO — The blue-chip Colt, bred to succeed and conquer with an amazing big-money contract in hand just got dusted by a stable full of nameless plow horses.

Andrew Luck, with all his hype and the amazing comeback over Kansas City a week ago, found out exactly what it takes to win in the NFL come January.

No-names like Chris Jones, Sealver Siliga, Logan Ryan and Jamie Collins delivered the lesson. It was as proud a night as we’ve had here for Patriots’ football backers, especially on the defensive side.

Four times the Pats picked off Luck. Twice, they set up easy Patriots TDs, deep in Indy territory. The third, by Dont’a Hightower of all people, turned the Colts away in Pats’ territory at a time where a field goal made it a one-possession game.

Gone, forever we hope, is the bend-but-not-break Patriots defense. Guys like Siliga, signed off the scrap heap just weeks ago, little Joe Vellano, beleaguered Steve Gregory, bewildered Logan Ryan and oft-toasted Alfonzo Dennard shackled Andrew Luck and dictated terms.

The Colts, who ripped up Kansas City’s No. 5 defense a week ago, managed a pair of TD bombs from the shell-shocked Luck.

Ask Bill Belichick yourself. He saw Luck a year ago here, as we all did, locking on to one receiver and attempting to jam it in. Yes, he burned the Pats a time or two. The kid has an incredible hose for an arm. And when he breaks the pocket, his ability to drop the ball on a dime 30 yards downfield while on the run might be better than anyone whose walked this planet not named Elway.

But to quote the stat man here in the press box above Gillette: Interceptions ... Patriots zero ... Colts four. Make that seven picks in the last two weeks for Luck.

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