Wow! What a game. I would say it exceeded my expectations, as far as level of entertainment is concerned. In quintessential Peyton Manning fashion, the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback led the Colts to a come-from-behind win at home. The Indianapolis Colts trailed the New England Patriots by 10 points going into the fourth quarter, and then Tom Brady connected with Randy Moss for another touchdown less than a minute into the quarter. Down by 17 points, things looked bad for Manning and the Colts.
Peyton Manning threw a 29 yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon to bring the Colts back to within 10 points. The Patriots’ increased their lead a few possessions later, but were held to a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. Joseph Addai then took the ball in for a Colts’ touchdown, bringing them within 6 points. The following possession would be the deciding factor in the game.
Tom Brady and the Patriots got the ball back with just under two and a half minutes to play. The Indianapolis defense forced Bill Belichick to make a fourth down decision. With just over two minutes to play, the legendary coach made a crucial error. Instead of punting from the Patriots’ 28 yard line, Belichick decided to go for it on fourth down with two yards to go. Tom Brady threw a pass to Kevin Faulk that looked like it would give the Patriots a first down. However, Faulk did not have control of the ball until he hit the ground after being tacked behind the first down marker. Belichick could not challenge the play, as the Patriots had burned all three of their time-outs. The turnover on downs gave the ball to Peyton Manning and the Colts deep in Patriot territory.
Following the two-minute warning, the Colts got back-to-back first downs. The first was a 14 yard reception by Reggie Wayne, and the second was a 13 yard run by Joseph Addai to the Patriots’ one yard line. Two plays later, with thirteen seconds left on the clock, Peyton Manning threw a one yard touch down pass to Reggie Wayne. Matt Stover gave the Colts a 35 to 34 lead.
The Patriots received the kickoff, and had one shot at the end zone with nine seconds remaining. Tom Brady completed a nine yard pass to Wes Welker, who then lateraled to Ben Watson for no further gain. Game over. The Colts’ undefeated season continues.
Leading Players (NFL Stats)
Colts – Peyton Manning threw for 327 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Patriots – Tom Brady threw for 375 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Colts – Joseph Addai ran for 41 yards and one touchdown.
Patriots – Kevin Faulk ran for 79 yards.
Colts – Reggie Wayne had 126 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Patriots – Randy Moss had 179 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Colts – Matt Stover kicked five extra points.
Patriots – Stephen Gostkowski kicked two field goals and four extra points.
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