Manning leads another 4th Quarter comeback with a little help from Belichick
Arguably the best sports rivalry this decade was on center stage last night as two of the NFL’s best teams squared off. The undefeated Colts took on the surging Patriots for what was yet another instant classic. After the first quarter the score was knotted at 7, but the Patriots pulled away in the second quarter and took a 24-14 lead into halftime. After a scoreless third quarter the Pats opened up the fourth quarter with a 5 yard touchdown pass from Brady to Moss and it seemed that the Patriots had a strangle hold on the game. Peyton Manning responded with a touchdown pass two minutes later to Pierre Garcon, but after a Gostkowski field goal with 4 minutes remaining and the Patriots on the winning side of a 34-21 score it looked like it was too little too late for Manning and the Colts. But Peyton Manning never lost his composure as he led another scoring drive capped of by Joseph Addai’s second touchdown of the game with 2:23 left in the game. The Colts were now down 34-28 opted to kick it deep to the Patriots rather than try the onside kick because they still had three time-outs and the two-minute warning to stop the clock and potentially get the ball back with enough time to win the game. The Patriots ran the ball on first down and threw a short pass to Welker on second down. After the Colts stopped the clock on two time-outs the Patriots threw the ball on third and short in order to get the first down and basically seal the game. Brady took a quick three-step drop and threw to the right side in an attempt to hit Welker but rookie Jerraud Powers stepped in front of the pass and almost intercepted it. It was fourth down and 2 with 2:08 remaining in the game and with the Patriots backed up on their own 28 yard-line it was a no brainer to punt the ball away, but the mad-man behind the patented hoodie felt otherwise. After the Patriots burned their last timeout to think it over, Brady and the offense stepped onto the field and it was clear that the Pats were going for the fourth down conversion and the win. The Colts blitzed heavily on the play and forced Brady into a quick throw to the right side where he completed the pass to Kevin Faulk for what appeared to be a first down, but the referee motioned that Faulk was juggling the ball and therefore he doesn’t get the forward progress because he didnt have possession of the ball when he was initially hit. The play could not be reviewed by the booth because it came before the two-minute warning and the Patriots could not challenge the spot of the ball because they had just used their third and final timeout just before the fourth down play. Thus, the ball was spotted about a foot before the first down marker and the Colts took over on downs at their own 29 yard-line with 1 timeout remaining and 2 min left in the game, an absolute eternity for Peyton Manning. After a pass to Reggie Wayne and a Joseph Addai run the Colts were at the 1 yard-line with 4 chances at scoring the winning touchdown, but they only needed two chances as on second and goal from the 1 Peyton Manning threw a bullet on a slant route to Reggie Wayne who made a finger tip grab and the Colts took an unthinkable 35-34 lead. After a desperate lateral attempt by Wes Welker failed and the clock read all zeros the Colts emerged with an amazing fourth quarter comeback win, and the Patriots were left wondering and hoping that what had just happened was nothing but a dream.