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Super Showdown Equals a Super Letdown for Colts in 24-20 Loss

Manning walks down the field

Maybe Super Bowl 41 and a half it was not, but what it was ended up being was a game that the Colts will look back at as one they should have likely won.  Up 20-10 in the 4th quarter, the Pats did what they had to do, scoring in two late drives and topping the Colts 24-20 in the much hyped game at the RCA Dome.  It was the first loss of the season for the Colts, as they fall to 7-1.  For the Pats, they improve to 9-0 and take a big step closer to being the first undefeated team in the NFL since the 1972 Dolphins.

The game came down to the Pats taking a 24-20 lead and the Colts with the ball with less than three minutes to go with a shot to move down the field and win the game.  With the rush coming, Peyton Manning was swung around and the ball flipped in the air, and Pats safety  Rodney Harrison snatched it and saved the win for New England.

The Colts had their chances, and they scored the games first points. Adam Vinatieri put a 21- yard field goal through the uprights, at the 3:05 mark of the first quarter to give the Colts a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. New England answered back in the second quarter, as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hit new BFF wide receiver Randy Moss with a four yard touchdown pass. After Steve Gostkowski’s point after at the 12:00 minute mark it was Patriots 7 Colts 3.

Indianapolis then scored ten unanswered points before the end of the half as Vinatieri again hit a field goal this time for 25 yards to make it 7-6. And with just 13 seconds left in the quarter Manning hit Joseph Addai with a pass up the middle and Addai went 73 yards intro the end zone. After Vinatieri split the uprights for the extra point the Colts walked into the locker room at the half leading New England 13-7.

New England cut Indianapolis lead to just 3 points by the end of the third quarter, as Gostkowski hit a 34 yard field goal with 2:36 remaining in the period. However Manning ran into the end zone at the 9:42 mark of the fourth quarter and after the extra point was made it was Colts 20 Patriots 10. It would be the last points Indianapolis would score on Sunday.

With machine like precision Pats QB Tom Brady led the team down the field completing a 3 yard pass to Wes Welker at the 7:59 mark and with the point after being good Brady and the boys were down by three at 20-17. And then with 3:15 remaining in the game Brady hit old pal Kevin Faulk with a 13 yard pass, and after Gostkowski kicked the point after New England was back on top 24-20. Manning had one more chance to drive down the field but with the Harrison pick the threat was over New England had avenged last year’s lost at least for the time being in last years AFC Title game.  “They made the big plays down the stretch and we couldn’t counter them,” Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy said. “You knew they would try to go over the top to Moss and they finally were able to do it.”

The Colts will have another tough test next week awaiting them, as they travel to San Diego to take on the 4-4 Chargers at 8:15pm.

**Jeff Sack Contributed to this article**

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