The New England Patriots defeated Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts soundly Sunday night, piling on points and walking away with a 59-24 victory. The talk all week was about how Luck and the Colts were off to an impressive 6-3 record, and while Luck will go on to do great things, the superior quarterback at this point wore red, white and blue.
Here is a look at Tom Brady and the rest of the biggest winners for New England, as well as a couple of players who did not have their best day.
Tom Brady: Brady heard discussion all week long about Luck and how this was a battle of the great quarterbacks of today and the great of tomorrow. Brady reminded people just why he is the better player at this point, throwing for three touchdowns and 331 yards while commanding an offense that hit on all cylinders most of the night.
Julian Edelman: Edelman had the type of numbers Sunday you may expect from a player like Darren Sproles. On the day, Edelman had two punt returns for 117 yards and a score, five catches for 58 yards and a score and a 47-yard rush. Edelman's versatility was thoroughly on display Sunday and could be one reason the team found Deion Branch expendable.
Rob Gronkowski: The third-year tight end showed once again just how tough a matchup he is for anyone, running through the Colts defense with authority all day. Gronkowski finished the day with seven receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted just seven times on the day meaning he and Brady were on the same page each time Brady looked his way.
Who most impressed you Sunday?
Aqib Talib: The recently-acquired cornerback was not perfect on the day but did show people the kind of ability and skill he has, as he gave the Patriots their first lead of the game with his electric 59-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter. He was victimized on a late touchdown by T.Y. Hilton. However, he was around the ball often and seemed to invigorate the New England secondary that picked off Luck three times.
Kyle Arrington: The much-maligned cornerback was picked on early in the game and penalized on a 40-yard defensive pass interference call on a deep ball for Donnie Avery. He did make a nice tip on a pass defense late in the fourth quarter that led to a Tavon Wilson interception, but he looked to be the weak link in the defensive backfield most of the game.
Nate Solder: The second-year left tackle had a difficult stretch in the first half where he was twice penalized for holding. He was dealing with All-Pro pass rusher Dwight Freeney, but for a player selected as high as Solder, you would expect him to be competitive. To be fair, the Patriots did not allow a sack all game, however Freeney likely would have had one had Solder not held him, because he was clearly beaten.