Patriots, Colts tied 7-all after 1st quarter of Sunday night game

By Cliff Brunt, AP
Sunday, November 15, 2009

Patriots, Colts tied 7-all after 1st quarter

INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass, Tom Brady’s Patriots answered, and Indianapolis and New England were tied at 7-all at the end of the first quarter Sunday night.

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 Reggie 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 Randy Moss deep down the middle for 55 yards to put New England at the Indianapolis 6-yard line. Laurence Maroney scored on a 1-yard run two plays later, and New England tied the score at 7-all.

Much of the hype about this matchup involves the quarterbacks. Brady has three Super Bowl titles and an MVP award, and Manning has three MVP awards and a Super Bowl title. The two have gone head to head eight times since the Colts left the AFC East for the AFC South in 2002, with Brady winning five times, and Manning winning three times — plus last season’s game when Brady was out.

Manning entered the game with 2,545 yards passing, on pace to break Dan Marino’s single-season record for yards passing (5,084) set in 1984.

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.

When these teams met last season, Brady was out while recovering from knee surgery and the Colts were 3-4 while Manning was dealing with an aching knee. Indianapolis won 18-15 and didn’t lose again until the playoffs. The Colts have 17 straight regular-season wins, leaving them one short of the second-longest streak in league history.

The game also features the top two scoring defenses in the league.

The Patriots were without four starters: defensive ends Ty Warren and Jarvis Green, left tackle Matt Light and cornerback Shawn Springs.

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