Tom Brady and Peyton Manning went toe to toe throughout the night, but in the end, an unusual decision from Bill Belichick on the Patriots sideline gave the Colts a late shot to win the game.
And Manning didn't disappoint, driving his team into the red zone and tossing a late touchdown to Reggie Wayne to do in the Patriots, as the Colts scored an exciting 35-34 win.
Colts 35, Patriots 34
Nov. 15, 2009
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
Headliner: The Patriots coaching staff won't be getting this award. Peyton Manning was nearly the goat of the game for his two untimely second-half interceptions and his inability to fully get the Colts back in the game, but thanks to a gamble by Belichick, he came away a hero. Manning threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns. It was the eighth time in nine games this season that Manning has thrown for 300-plus yards in a game.
Game Ball: Randy Moss was on the losing end of the shootout in Indy, but the Patriots wide receiver had his second-biggest day in a Patriots uniform. Moss made nine catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Patriots offense and keep the injured Colts defense on its heels all night long. It marked the most receiving yards for Moss since his Patriots debut when he caught nine passes for 183 yards against the Jets on Sept. 9, 2007.
Tom Brady was on fire for much of the night as well, completing 29 of 42 passes for 375 yards and three scores of his own.
Better Luck Next Week: Needless to say, sports radio ratings won't be hurting this week in New England. Bill Belichick will be questioned day and night until the Patriots' next game (and probably beyond), and rightfully so. Belichick made one of the most unusual calls late in the game that — in the eyes of many — ended up costing his team the game, putting his defense in a horrible situation with just two minutes remaining.
Key Moment: With 2:08 left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots holding a six-point lead, Belichick elected to go for it on fourth-and-two from the Patriots' own 28-yard line. Tom
Brady threw a pass on the right flank to Kevin Faulk that was bobbled but caught. Officials, however, ruled that he missed the first-down
mark by inches.
The Patriots couldn't challenge the play because Belichick had already blown
through his timeouts earlier in the half, and with the clock not under two minutes when the play began, the booth was not allowed to review the official's spot. There is a chance the spot of the ball could
have been overturned, giving the Patriots a first down, but instead the Patriots turned the ball over,
leading to the game-winning drive and touchdown for the Colts.
Scouting Report: The Patriots will have to regroup and refocus before meeting their Week 11 opponents, the New York Jets, next Sunday in Foxborough.
The last time the Patriots and Jets met, Rex Ryan was busy running his mouth and leaving voice mails for season ticket holders. Ryan and the Jets had a lot to talk about after beating the Patriots 16-9 at the Meadowlands, but a lot has changed since their Week 2 meeting.
The Patriots (6-3) are looking ahead to the postseason, while the Jets (4-5) will be playing for their postseason lives. The Patriots have a chance against the Jets not only for revenge, but also to end their playoff dreams at the same time.
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