Tom Brady racked up 341 passing yards and four total touchdowns, and the New England Patriots put away the battered Indianapolis Colts 38-24 on Thursday night in Foxborough, Mass.
Trailing 24-3 at half, the Colts (1-4) climbed within 24-17 behind a pair of Andrew Luck touchdowns and two Brady interceptions, each of which went off a teammate’s hands.
But Brady, who finished 34 of 44, restored the lead to 14 with a 34-yard floater to a double-covered Josh Gordon with 9:19 remaining. It was Gordon’s first score for New England and Brady’s 500th career touchdown pass, eight back of Brett Favre for second on the all-time list. Peyton Manning is first at 539.
The Patriots (3-2) put it away just over two minutes later. One play after Jonathan Jones intercepted a pass that went off Colts wideout Zach Pascal’s hands, Patriots rookie Sony Michel romped 34 yards to make it 38-17.
James White totaled 11 catches for 77 yards and a score. Julian Edelman had seven grabs for 57 yards in his first regular-season game since 2016. He missed 2017 with a torn ACL and the first four games this year due to a PED suspension.
Luck finished 38 of 59 for 365 yards, three TDs and two picks while playing without five offensive starters, including wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Equally banged-up on defense, the Colts ruled out nine players before kickoff and then lost three others to injury during the game.
Brady dissected Indy from the opening kickoff, starting 14 of 15 for 123 yards and two scores (one rushing), with the only incompletion an Edelman drop. He sandwiched TDs to Cordarrelle Patterson and White around a 1-yard QB sneak before the break.
The Colts managed just a 54-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal before halftime. Vinatieri missed an earlier attempt off the left upright from 38 yards.
Indianapolis tight ends Eric Ebron and Erik Swoope scored from 14 and 13 yards, respectively, in the second half. The latter was set up by an interception that went off Gronkowski’s hands, 2 1/2 minutes after Patriots wideout Chris Hogan dropped a throw that was picked.
Ebron tacked on a 1-yard TD catch with 1:11 left for the final margin.
—Field Level Media