Sunday, November 15, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Colts 35, Patriots 34
By Tim Graham
INDIANAPOLIS -- What in the world was that?
The New England Patriots stated their case they deserve to be known as the AFC East's best team.
And then they let it slip away.
The Patriots were on their way to beating the Indianapolis Colts, but Bill Belichick's nonsensical decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from their own 28-yard line -- not the Colts' 28-yard line -- with two minutes left cost them dearly.
The Patriots didn't convert, and with the short field, Peyton Manning made Belichick pay. Four plays later, Manning hit Reggie Wayne for a touchdown with 13 seconds left to give the Colts an improbable 35-34 victory in Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Patriots went into the Colts' home and dissected them for about 58 minutes, holding a 34-21 lead in the fourth quarter.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was better than Manning, who threw two bad interceptions. Brady completed 29 of 42 attempts for 375 yards and three touchdowns.
New England's offense was impressive, scoring touchdowns on drives of six, two, five and two plays. The Colts went into the game having allowed only one touchdown drive of six plays or fewer.
Randy Moss caught nine passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Kevin Faulk rushed 11 times for 79 yards. Laurence Maroney would've had a two-touchdown game had he not fumbled at the goal line in the third quarter.
Rookie left tackle Sebastian Vollmer continued his strong play, keeping Dwight Freeney from sacking Brady. Last week, Vollmer shut out the 2008 AFC sacks king, Joey Porter.
And, yet, none of it mattered.