Patriots Beat Colts to Improve to 9-0

Monday, November 5th 2007, 7:24 am
By: News On 6

OK, the Patriots aren't going to romp every week.

Indianapolis actually gave New England a test on Sunday. It might be the only time the Patriots need to sweat this season.

Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in a 4-minute span of the fourth quarter to overcome a 10-point deficit and New England remained perfect by beating the defending Super Bowl champion Colts 24-20.

The win in one of the NFL's biggest regular-season games ever made the Patriots (9-0) a strong threat for the NFL's first unbeaten season since Miami did it in 1972.

``This is the first time we were in a ballgame late,'' said Brady, who has 33 touchdown passes and is on pace to break Peyton Manning's record of 49 in a season. ``There wasn't any loss of confidence or determination.''

Why would there be with Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and a big-play defense on hand?

New England, which had been averaging more than 41 points and had beaten eight opponents by an average of more than 25 points, trailed 20-10 after Manning scored on a 1-yard sneak with 9:42 left.

However, Brady's 55-yard completion to Moss set up a 3-yard TD pass to Welker. Rosevelt Colvin knocked the ball loose from Manning to force a punt on the next series. Then, Brady found Kevin Faulk over the middle for 13 yards for the winning score with 3:15 left.

Jarvis Green knocked the ball lose from Manning and Colvin recovered to clinch it for New England.

``They force you into playing perfect ... keeping the pressure on people, forcing you to play well for all 60 minutes,'' said Colts coach Tony Dungy, whose team is 7-1. ``They won it in the fourth quarter today.''

In other games Sunday, it was Minnesota 35, San Diego 17 as rookie Adrian Peterson set an NFL record with 296 yards rushing; Green Bay 33, Kansas City 22; Dallas 38, Philadelphia 17; New Orleans 41, Jacksonville 24; Cleveland 33, Seattle 30 in overtime; Detroit 44, Denver 7; Tennessee 20, Carolina 7; Washington 23, the New York Jets 20 in OT; Tampa Bay 17, Arizona 10; Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 21; Atlanta 20, San Francisco 16; Houston 24, Oakland 17.

On Monday night, Baltimore is at Pittsburgh.

Off this week were Miami, St. Louis, the New York Giants and Chicago.

Patriots 24, Colts 20

At Indianapolis, the Colts took a halftime lead with 13 seconds left in the second quarter when Joseph Addai took a short pass from Manning and raced 73 yards for a touchdown. Manning's TD gave them the 20-10 lead, then the Patriots stormed back.

``We just kept telling ourselves in the fourth quarter, 'Keep our poise, keep our poise, just keep playing,''' linebacker Tedy Bruschi said. ``Just keep playing hard.''

Vikings 35, Chargers 17

At Minneapolis, Peterson topped 200 yards rushing for the second time in one season, a feat no other rookie has accomplished. He scored two of his three touchdowns and gained 253 yards in the second half, helping the Vikings (3-5) rally from a 14-7 deficit.

Peterson reached 1,036 yards rushing for the season, putting him on pace to smash Eric Dickerson's rookie record of 1,808 set in 1983. Dickerson's single-season record of 2,105 yards in 1984 could be in reach, too.

``I set my bar high, because I know anything is possible when you continue to work hard,'' Peterson said.

San Diego (4-4) lost a November game for the first time since 2003. The Chargers got a 109-yard runback by Antonio Cromartie on a missed 57-yard field goal just before halftime , breaking the NFL mark by 1 yard.

Packers 33, Chiefs 22

Brett Favre hit Greg Jennings for a 60-yard touchdown pass with 3:05 to go, giving Favre victories over each of the other 31 teams in the league. It's a career milestone Manning and Brady achieved just one week before.

The Chiefs (4-4) had taken a 22-16 lead on Damon Huard's 17-yard pass to Tony Gonzalez and a 2-point conversion run by Priest Holmes, who came in when Larry Johnson injured his foot a few minutes earlier.

Jennings, whose 82-yard touchdown catch on the first play of overtime lifted Green Bay (7-1) past Denver six days earlier, beat Patrick Surtain and Donnie Edwards for the Packers' sixth straight road win.

Favre was 24-for-34 for 360 yards and two touchdowns.

Cowboys 38, Eagles 17

Nearly two years to the day that Terrell Owens was banished from the Eagles, the star receiver caught 10 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown in Philadelphia.

Tony Romo threw three TD passes, Marion Barber had 106 total yards and one score and the NFC East-leading Cowboys improved to 7-1 for the first time since 1995 _ when they last won a Super Bowl.

The Eagles (3-5) were dominated on both sides of the ball, dropping to the worst start for Philadelphia since Andy Reid became coach in 1999.

Saints 41, Jaguars 24

At New Orleans, Drew Brees threw for 445 yards and three touchdowns, and Mike McKenzie returned an interception 75 yards for a score. The Saints (4-4) improved to .500 after opening the season with four losses.

Brees' 35 completions on 49 attempts without an interception were impressive enough. Reggie Bush scored touchdowns on a 1-yard run and a 2-yard reception, finishing with 115 total yards. Marques Colston had 10 catches for 159 yards.

Quinn Gray, starting his second game for injured David Garrard, was 20-of-33 for 354 yards passing with two TDs and three interceptions for Jacksonville (5-3).

Browns 33, Seahawks 30, OT

At Cleveland, Phil Dawson's 25-yard field goal gave the Browns a comeback win and their first three-game winning streak since 2001. Jamal Lewis rushed for a career-high four touchdowns, the last with 2:17 remaining in regulation, for the Browns (5-3), who trailed 21-6 in the first half. Lewis scored on runs of 2, 1, 2 and 1 yards.

Derek Anderson was 29-for-48 for 364 yards, and Kellen Winslow, shrugging off a painful knee, matched a career high with 11 catches for 125 yards.

Matt Hasselbeck went 30-for-47 for 318 yards and two TDs for the Seahawks (4-4), who also got a 94-yard punt return from Nate Burleson in the first half to open a 15-point lead.

Lions 44, Broncos 7

At Detroit, Jon Kitna threw two touchdown passes and the Lions (6-2) scored twice on defense, doubling their win total from last year and matching the most victories in any season under team president Matt Millen.

Denver (3-5) has its worst record since its last losing season in 1999, and the banged-up team took more hits when quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Travis Henry were sidelined with injuries.

Titans 20, Panthers 7

Albert Haynesworth had three of the Titans' season-high seven sacks as host Tennessee got its third straight victory. The Titans held an opponent to 14 or fewer points for the sixth time this season and limited Carolina (4-4) to a season-low 191 yards total offense. Travis LaBoy also had a sack and his first career interception for Tennessee (6-2), and Chris Hope picked off backup Matt Moore with 2:13 left to seal the victory.

Vince Young and LenDale White each ran for a touchdown for the Titans, and White finished with 100 yards rushing _ his third straight game with 100 or more.

Redskins 23, Jets 20, OT

Shaun Suisham tied a franchise record with his fifth field goal, a 46-yarder with 7:43 left in overtime. He also had kicks of 46, 40, 22 and 40 yards.

Clinton Portis rushed for 196 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries as visiting Washington (5-3) beat New York for the eighth time in nine meetings. The Redskins, who won their second overtime game of the season, rallied from a 14-point deficit.

The Jets (1-8) tied it at 20 with 10 seconds left in regulation on Mike Nugent's 30-yard field goal. Leon Washington took the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, his third this season. But New York lost its sixth in a row.

Buccaneers 17, Cardinals 10

At Tampa, Fla., in addition to Tanard Jackson's second-quarter interception, which set up a field goal, the Bucs limited the Cardinals to one first down and 78 yards total offense in the opening half. Arizona (3-5), averaging 337.3 yards per game, finished with a season-low 195.

Jeff Garcia threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway, while Earnest Graham scored on a 2-yard run and had his first 100-yard rushing performance as a pro (124) for the Bucs (5-4).

Bills 33, Bengals 21

Rookie running back Marshawn Lynch had a career-best 153 yards rushing, including a 56-yard TD run that put the game away with 2:22 remaining. He also had an 8-yard touchdown pass to Robert Royal that put host Buffalo ahead for good.

The Bills (4-4) won their third straight, their best stretch since winning six straight in 2004, and produced 479 yards of total offense.

The Bengals (2-6) not only lost for the sixth time in seven games, they also might have lost receiver Chad Johnson, who was sandwiched by two defenders while trying to make a diving catch and carted off the field. The Bengals announced Johnson, who had his neck immobilized, had movement in all extremities and he flew home with the team.

Falcons 20, 49ers 16

Warrick Dunn became the first Atlanta back to run for 100 yards this season, while fullback Ovie Mughelli had the first TD rushing in his career. Dunn rushed for 100 yards on 27 carries, including a 9-yard touchdown. Mughelli scored on a 1-yard plunge with just his third carry of the season.

Morten Andersen handled the rest of the scoring for the host Falcons (2-6) with two fourth-quarter field goals.

San Francisco (2-6) lost its sixth in a row with another dismal offensive performance as leading rusher Frank Gore (sore ankle) didn't play.

Texans 24, Raiders 17

Sage Rosenfels connected with Andre' Davis on a 42-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter that helped visiting Houston (4-5) snap a three-game skid.

Getting his first start of the season in place of the injured Matt Schaub, Rosenfels produced little until after the Raiders (2-6) cut a 17-point deficit to seven early in the fourth quarter.

Ron Dayne, who rushed for a season-high 122 yards, bulled his way to the Oakland 42. Then Davis sped past cornerback Stanford Routt and caught the long TD pass that gave the Texans a 24-10 lead.