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Halftime analysis

Posted by Albert Breer  November 15, 2009 08:12 PM

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Some things to note as we hit the half ...

* The Patriots' pass protection has been key to getting the ball downfield. Sebastian Vollmer has had help, to be sure, with Dwight Freeney -- on a lot of plays he's gotten Freeney to the outside, with Logan Mankins getting him to the inside. But on the biggest play of the half, a 63-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss, Tom Brady got time because Vollmer was able to stymie Freeney one-on-one.

Another thing helping against the Colts rush: There seems to be an emphasis on getting the ball out of Brady's hands quickly, and the draw -- featuring Kevin Faulk -- had plenty of early success.

* On the other side, the Colts have shot themselves in the foot on several occasions. Key drops by Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie killed second-quarter drives.

* Derrick Burgess is without question having his best game as a Patriot. The Colts' offensive line is suspect, so it's not worthy of throwing the guy a party, but at least he's had a pulse in this one, getting close to Manning several times and forcing a hurried third-down throw in the second quarter.

* At least a little bit surprising that the Colts have at least tried challenging the Patriots more on the ground. Donald Brown looks capable of tearing of chunks, with New England almost exclusively in a nickel front.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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