FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Mac Jones had a touchdown pass, Nick Folk added four field goals and the Patriots finished with nine sacks to help New England beat the Indianapolis Colts 26-3 on Sunday.
The win moves the Patriots (5-4) above .500 for the first time this season as they head into their bye week.
Linebackers Matt Judon and Josh Uche each had three sacks, leading a defense that held Indianapolis to 121 yards and 0 of 14 on third down.
Jonathan Jones returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown to finish the scoring.
Jones was 20 of 30 for 147 yards.
The Colts (3-5-1) have lost three straight and have yet to earn a win since benching quarterback Matt Ryan in favor of second-year player Sam Ehlinger.
Under pressure throughout the game, Ehlinger finished 15 of 29 for 103 yards and the late interception that was returned for a touchdown. It was the fourth time this season the Colts have allowed five or more sacks.
The Colts had trouble sustaining drives without running back Jonathan Taylor, who was out with the ankle injury he suffered in last week’s loss to Washington.
Zack Moss was acquired in a trade with Buffalo last week to provide some help, but he was inactive after just a few days of practice. Deon Jackson, who began the season as the team’s third string running back, made just his second career start and managed only 23 yards on 11 carries.
New England wasn’t great offensively, but took advantage of some decent early field position to move the ball enough to set up Folk for two first-half field goals.
The special teams also did their part with Jonathan Jones blocking Matt Haack’s punt on Indy’s fifth drive and recovering on the Colts 2.
Jones tossed a 3-yard TD to Rhamondre Stevenson two plays later to put New England in front 13-0.
New England’s defense did the rest.
Indianapolis entered Sunday short-handed after trudging through another week of adjustments offensively following the firing of offensive coordinator Marcus Brady. It didn’t seem to help Ehlinger, who lost in his starting debut last week.
Ehlinger didn’t complete a pass until midway through the second quarter and he was sacked five times in the first half.
Judon beat right guard Matt Pryor for two of them, prompting the Colts to replace Pryor with Will Fries on their third drive.
It did little to jumpstart things, with Indy gaining just 64 yards on 30 plays in the half. The Colts had a chance to put points on the board just before halftime, but Chase McLaughlin’s 39-yard field-goal try missed wide left.
Colts: Jackson left in the third quarter with a leg injury but was able to return. … TE Jelani Woods left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
Colts: at Raiders next Sunday.
Patriots: host New York Jets on Nov. 20.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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