Brady’s 315 yards, 2 TDs have Patriots ahead of Colts, 24-14 at end of 3rd quarter

By Cliff Brunt, AP
Sunday, November 15, 2009

Patriots lead Colts 24-14 at end of 3rd quarter

INDIANAPOLIS — Tom Brady had 315 yards passing and two touchdown passes, and the New England Patriots lead the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 at the end of the third quarter on Sunday night.

Randy Moss had six catches for 162 yards and a touchdown for New England, and Reggie Wayne had eight catches for 110 yards for the Colts through three quarters.

Brady had a huge first half, but he finally made a mistake early in the second half. He tried to find Moss in the end zone again, but Antoine Bethea stepped in front of Moss for the interception.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning gave the ball right back when he underthrew Pierre Garcon and Leigh Bodden intercepted.

New England led 24-14 and could have gained firm control, but Philip Wheeler caused Laurence Maroney to fumble into the end zone, and Indianapolis’ Gary Brackett recovered. New England had taken nearly eight minutes off the clock on the drive. The Colts failed to score on the next possession.

Brady’s scoring tosses of 63 yards to Moss and 9 yards to Julian Edelman in the second quarter put the Patriots up 24-7. The Colts responded when Manning completed a 20-yard scoring pass to Wayne to cut New England’s lead to 24-14.

Both teams went three-and-out on their opening possessions, then scored on their second.

Manning’s 15-yard TD pass on a dump-off to Joseph Addai finished an 8-play, 90-yard drive to put the Colts (8-0) ahead 7-0. A key play was a 23-yard catch by Wayne on the sideline against double coverage. The Patriots challenged the ruling that the pass was complete, but the original call was upheld, costing New England a challenge and a timeout.

The Patriots (6-2) responded with a 73-yard drive. Brady found Moss deep down the middle for 55 yards to put New England at the Indianapolis 6-yard line. Maroney scored on a 1-yard run two plays later, and New England tied the score at 7-all.

Addai left the game with an injured finger on his right hand, but he eventually returned.

Stephen Gostkowski’s 31-yard field goal early in the second quarter put the Patriots up 10-7.

After the Patriots’ defense stopped the Colts again, Brady connected with Moss for the 63-yard touchdown, to increase New England’s lead to 17-7.

Brady struck again minutes later. He shrugged off Robert Mathis before delivering the 9-yard touchdown pass to Edelman that gave the Patriots a 24-7 lead.

Manning responded this time, finding Wayne in the middle of the end zone with 4:17 left in the second quarter to cut New England’s lead to 24-14.

The matchups between the teams in recent years often have had long-term implications. Four times since 2003, the winner of this regular-season game also became the AFC champion. Three times, the winner won the Super Bowl.

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