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Vinatieti’s Late FG Boots Colts Past Patriots 18-15

It is pretty much common knowledge that Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is still the NFL’s best clutch kicker, both while with the New England Patriots and with the Colts. Vinatieri sent the Patriots a reminder what he is still capable of doing when he hit a clutch 52-yard field goal, which allowed the Colts to edge the Patriots 18-15 Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The game, while big for both teams – especially Indianapolis – it had the feel of a contest that had very little at stake, which is understandable since Tom Brady wasn’t playing and none of the hype of games past. The game even had some twists to it, such as Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison serving as a punt returner and even typically conservative Patriots coach Bill Belichick calling for a halfback pass.

Early on, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning exposed the Patriots middle passing lanes and the Colts benefitted as on their second drive of the game, Manning directed a 15-play, 91-yard drive, capped by a 12-yard TD pass from Manning to WR Anthony Gonzalez to give the Colts a 7-0 lead. New England responded with a conservative offense which kept them close as Stephen Gotkowski kicked a pair of field goals to narrow the Colts’ lead to 7-6 at halftime.

The Patriots stuck to their “dink-and-dunk” offense in the second half, opening the third quarter with a 15-play drive, ending with a TD run by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, giving New England a 12-7 lead. Manning rsponded like the Manning of old, using the short field with intermediate-to-long passes to stretch out the Patriots’ secondary while connecting again with Gonzalez with a 9-yard TD pass, giving the Colts a 15-12 lead. The Patriots tied the game at 15 on a FG by Gotkowski but Manning would take the Colts on a 48-yard drive which would set up the game-winning FG by Vinatieri.

Manning had one of his better games of the season, going 21-of-29 for 254 yards and 2 TD’s while Patriots QB Matt Cassel went 25-of-34 for 204 yards and an interception. The Colts’ rushing attack – or lack thereof – was led by Joseph Addai with 32 yards on 17 carries; Kevin Faulk led the Patriots with 60 yards on 10 carries while Green-Ellis added 57 yards on 15 carries and a TD.

Reggie Wayne led all Colts receivers with 5 receptions for 65 yards while Dallas Clark caught 4 passes for 64 yards; Gonzalez added 55 yards on 4 catches and two scores while Harrison caught 4 passes for 50 yards. Randy Moss led all Patriots receivers with 6 receptions for 65 yards. Indianapolis (4-4) plays again on Sunday when they visit Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers while New England (5-3) return home to face the Buffalo Bills – also on Sunday.

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One Response to “Vinatieti’s Late FG Boots Colts Past Patriots 18-15”

  1. Bryan Helmig says:

    That was a good game and I’m proud of Vinatieri for making that field goal. I feel the colts can continue their winning ways since Sanders and Addai are back.

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