Top 5 Patriots - Colts games are topnotch

5. November 15, 2009 Indianapolis 35 New England 34

Needing a first down to seal the game, Belichick decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28 with 2:08 to go. The Patriots called their second timeout of the drive, leaving them with none, to set up the play: A short pass from Brady to Kevin Faulk, something the 2007 NFL MVP had repeatedly used to burn Indy's young, depleted pass defense all night. Not this time.

The Colts trailed by 17 points early in the fourth quarter. This marked the first time Belichick’s Patriots had lost when leading by at least 13 in the final period.

The game seemed in hand for New England when K Stephen Gotkowski drilled a 36 yard field goal with four minutes 17 seconds to play. The Patriots led 34-21.

The Colts cut the lead to 34-28 on RB Joseph Addai's four yard run. After the Patriots went four and out from their own 28 yard line, Indy marched four plays for the go ahead TD. Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning completed the comeback with 13 seconds to play on a one yard toss to WR Reggie Wayne.

The bizarre ending ruined a fine performance by QB Tom Brady who completed 29 of 44 passes for 375 yards, three TD's, one interception and a QB rating of 110.7. WR's Randy Moss and Wes Welker each made nine catches for the game.

4. January 11, 2014 New England 43 Indianapolis 22

The Colts were coming off their exciting comeback victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, 45-44. Second year QB Andrew Luck had helped erase a 38-10 second half lead in the opening playoff round.

New England RB LeGarrette Blount rushed for 166 on 24 carries and four TD's. RB Stevan Ridley chipped in with two short TD runs as the Patriots tied an NFL playoff record with six rushing TD's. QB Tom Brady threw only 25 times, completing 13 for 198 yards. The Patriots rushed for 234 yards.

Indy QB Andrew Luck had a late third quarter 35 yard TD pass to WR Lavon Brazill, cutting the lead to 29-22. Luck would finish 20 for 41 passing for 331 yards, two TD's and four interceptions.

Two fourth quarter rushing scores by the Patriots widened the lead to 43-22. Indy fell to 1-3 in playoff games against the Patriots.

CBS Sports:
A moment of silence was held for 17-year-old Sam Berns of Foxborough, whose battle with a rare and fatal genetic condition that accelerates the aging process inspired Patriots players and was the subject of an HBO documentary "Life According to Sam." He died Friday. He had been invited by Patriots owner Robert Kraft to be the team's honorary captain Saturday.

3. January 21, 2007 Indianapolis 38 New England 34

The fourth seeded Patriots had knocked off the number one team, San Diego 24-21. The third seeded Colts had eliminated the second seed, the Baltimore Ravens, 15-6 on five Adam Vinatieri field goals.

It was three versus four. For pure excitement, this was a four star event. With a Super Bowl berth on the line, both offenses emptied the playbook. The Colts gained 455 offensive yards, 32 first downs, 330 yards passing on 27 of 47 by QB Peyton Manning, and overcame a 21-3 deficit.

Each team had a TD recovered in the end zone by an offensive lineman(C Jeff Saturday-Colts, G Logan Mankins-NE). Indy LB Dan Klecko also caught a TD pass. Patriots' CB Assante Samuel returned a Peyton Manning pass 39 yards for a TD. New England KR Ellis Hobbs returned six kickoffs for 220 yards, including one of 80 yards.

A Joseph Addai three yard run gave the Colts the lead, 38-34 with one minute to play. A Tom Brady pass was intercepted at the Indy 45 by S Marlin Jackson with 24 seconds to play.

The Colts went on to beat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI, 29-17.

2. January 18, 2004 New England 24 Indianapolis 14

New England CB Ty Law held Colts WR Marvin Harrison to 19 yards on three catches while intercepting QB Peyton Manning three times as well. Harrison fumbled for the Colts while New England S Rodney Harrison added an interception.

Had New England been able to score down close, it would have been no contest. The Patriots had only one TD, settled for five field goals by Adam Vinatieri and lost the ball at the Indy 5 early in the fourth quarter when Tom Brady threw his first interception in 10 home games this season.

The Patriots held Indy QB Peyton Manning to 237 yards passing on 23 of 47 for one TD, four interceptions and a QB rating of 35.5.

Mark Maske, Washington Post:
Indianapolis's receivers were upset because they felt that several holding infractions had gone uncalled by officials at key moments. Bill Polian, the Colts' influential team president, was particularly angry. The Colts' complaints were aired to the competition committee.

The Colts got their way. The committee made properly enforcing the "illegal contact" rule a point of officiating emphasis for the 2004 season. The hands of NFL defensive backs were, in effect, tied.

"They have very good players and they are well coached, which helps the good players play better," Tony Dungy said. "They are a really talented group."

1. January 16, 2005 New England 20 Indianapolis 3

For the second year in a row, the New England Patriots made MVP Peyton Manning look ordinary and his Indianapolis teammates inept, this time beating them 20-3 Sunday behind Corey Dillon's 144 yards rushing. The Pats held the ball nearly 38 minutes, leaving Manning hardly any time to work his magic. Manning, who set NFL records with 49 touchdowns and a 121.1 passer rating in the regular season, delivered his worst performance this year, failing to throw a touchdown pass for the first time on his way to a 69.3 rating.

"I think our defense is what made this game successful," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. "Three points to one of the best offenses in the history of football is incredible."

The New England defense was led by LB Tedy Bruschi who stole the football from Indy RB Dominic Rhodes in the second quarter ending a Colt drive. Tedy also forced a Reggie Wayne fumble by the Indy WR. Bruschi recovered the fumble with seven minutes to play, turning out the lights on any possible Colts' comeback.

The Patriots were able to run the ball for 210 yards. The passing game was affected by the weather as QB Tom Brady threw for only 115 yards on 18 for 27 passing. He was sacked three times for 29 yards. New England did not commit any turnovers, and the outcome was never in doubt.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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