While Andrew Luck ’12 was able to return to the field in Indianapolis after being out for two weeks with a right shoulder injury, rookies Ty Montgomery ’15 and Andrus Peat were sidelined with injuries of their own.
Despite passing for 312 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, Luck was unable to lead the Colts to victory, falling 34-27 to the New England Patriots in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship. Indianapolis struck first, scoring a touchdown on its 13-play, 89-yard opening drive, and the teams were neck and neck until the third quarter.
The momentum shifted in New England’s favor after a bizarre fake punt attempt by Indianapolis that resulted in a turnover on downs. With the majority of the offensive line lined up at the right sideline, wide receiver Griff Whalen ’12 lined up at center and snapped the ball to safety Colt Anderson, who was immediately tackled for a loss. Although Whalen would later catch an 18-yard touchdown pass as the fourth quarter wound down, the damage was done.
Whalen finished the night with 2 receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown, and Coby Fleener ’12 recorded 3 receptions for 20 yards. Luck is 0-5 with 11 turnovers in his career against New England.
In Green Bay, Montgomery joined Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams in the ranks of injured Packers wide receivers when he left the game in the second quarter with a left ankle injury. Montgomery was tackled after getting a first down and could not put weight on his leg upon standing. He was helped off the field and eventually carted to the locker room.
Montgomery has played in each game this season, garnering 15 total receptions for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. Green Bay went on to defeat the San Diego Chargers 27-20.
Meanwhile, just one week after his NFL debut, New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Andrus Peat went down with a grade-2 MCL sprain in the first quarter of the Saints’ 31-21 win over the Falcons. The injury will not require surgery, but he could be out for four weeks.
After a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Bengals last week, the Seahawks again blew a fourth-quarter lead, giving up 13 points to lose 27-23 to the Carolina Panthers at home. The Panthers capitalized on the Seahawks’ ineffective offense and miscommunication within the Legion of Boom. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin ’11 was limited to 3 receptions for 23 yards, and Carolina’s game-winning touchdown pass to Greg Olsen left cornerback Richard Sherman ’10 and free safety Earl Thomas at a loss.
“We were playing two different plays at the same time,” Sherman told The Seattle Times. “Any time you’re doing that, it’s not going to work out well.”
The Seahawks will have a shortened break before their next game as they square off against division rival San Francisco 49ers Thursday night.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.