The New England Patriots obviously would have preferred to beat the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night. But Jamie Collins found a silver lining in his team’s sloppy loss.
The veteran linebacker said defeats like the one New England suffered over the weekend help keep teams humble. The Patriots had been riding a seven-game win streak before falling 27-17 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Sometimes you need that,” Collins said Monday in a video conference. “Sometimes you need that humble pie. You need that setback just to keep you honest. You need certain stuff to keep you honest, and that’s what it was. It is what it is.”
The Patriots trailed the Colts 17-0 at halftime and 20-0 early in the third quarter before rallying late. They scored 17 fourth-quarter points to cut the deficit to three, but a 67-yard Jonathan Taylor touchdown with two minutes remaining sealed the win for Indy.
A lack of discipline burned the Patriots, who committed eight penalties, many of them consequential; had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown; and threw interceptions on back-to-back drives.
“We just had a bad day,” Collins said. “We had a bad day, and those guys took advantage of us. They came out on top. They were the better team. They won the game, and that’s the end of that. … (Expletive) happens.”
Collins was one of the bright spots in the loss. With starting linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley suffering an ankle injury early in the game, Collins played 71% of New England’s defensive snaps, registering two pass breakups (one of which resulted in a Devin McCourty interception) and one tackle for loss and finishing as Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded Patriots player.
It now would take a late Kansas City Chiefs stumble for the Patriots to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but they remain in the driver’s seat in the AFC East. They can clinch the division title this week with a win over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium and a Miami Dolphins loss to the New Orleans Saints.