Colts 13

(2-1, 1-1 away)

Patriots 44

(1-2, 1-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, September 30, 2001


1 2 3 4 T
IND 0 0 7 613
NE 7 13 3 2144

Colts' curse continues at Foxboro

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- The New England Patriots were subdued after their first victory of the season. They already had more fun than they could have expected against the NFL's highest scoring team.

Ty Law

Ty Law, center, runs in an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the second time the Pats converted a Peyton Manning turnover in the game.

The Patriots used the Colts' own approach, a big first half and touchdowns on Peyton Manning's passes, to beat Indianapolis 44-13 on Sunday.

"We haven't done anything," Patriots linebacker Bryan Cox said. "I don't come out and do what I'm supposed to do and think, all of a sudden, I'm great."

Still, the division upset was a big win for New England (1-2) against a team with offensive stars like Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison.

"It was almost a must-win situation," Patriots cornerback Ty Law said. "From the first whistle, we went out there to hit them and smack them in the mouth."

Law returned an interception for a 23-yard touchdown and Otis Smith brought another back 78 yards for a score as Manning threw three to bring his total to seven in three games. He also threw his seventh touchdown pass, a 17-yarder to Marcus Pollard that made it 37-13.

"I don't think anyone on our team played well or coached well," Colts coach Jim Mora said. "Their play didn't surprise me."

What can possibly explain this outcome?
This is the fourth straight game Peyton Manning has lost in Foxboro. If a good team turns the ball over and gets down early, things can snowball -- and that's what happened to the Colts. Instead of making plays, they were dropping balls and turning it over. When they got so far behind, Edgerrin James was taken out of the offense because they had to throw so much.

As the game wore on, the Patriots gained confidence. And they were able to run the ball effectively. Plus, give credit to Bill Belichick and the way he designs his defense, because Manning struggles a lot with the Patriots' D. NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

For New England, Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals and Antowain Smith rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns, outplaying James, who was held to 55 yards on 17 carries.

"If we would have been able to move the ball on third downs then things would have been better," James said. "But that didn't happen and that's the reason for us not scoring in the first half."

The Patriots scored 13 points in the last 5:50 of the second quarter and led 20-0 at halftime against the Colts (2-1), who averaged 33 first-half points in their previous two games.

New England did it without Drew Bledsoe, expected to miss at least two more games because of internal bleeding in his chest following a tackle last week. He was replaced by Tom Brady, who played well after being sacked on New England's first offensive play.

"You envision the things that are going to happen in a game, all the possibilities," said Brady, who went 13-for-23 for 168 yards. "Never did I think it would be the runaway victory that it was."

The fact that Indianapolis had the fourth worst run defense in the league didn't hurt. It gave up 177 yards rushing after going into the game with an average of 141.5.

"Getting a chance to do something with the ball helped. I think I carried the ball 22 times," Antowain Smith said. "It was good for us to get something going early so that gave the coaching staff confidence to go back to it."

The Colts finally scored on Manning's 10-yard run in the final minute of the third quarter, making it 23-7, but the Patriots kept rolling.

They came back with a 62-yard drive in which a 38-yard completion to Antowain Smith, the longest reception of his career, set up Kevin Faulk's 8-yard scoring run and a 30-7 lead.

James came into the game as the AFC's rushing leader with an average of 123 yards, but his franchise record of five straight games with at least 100 yards rushing was snapped.

Law's interception made it 37-7, but it was the first half that gave the Patriots the momentum they needed.

On New England's first scoring drive, Antowain Smith ran around left end for 39 yards, then scored on a 4-yard run on the next play. The Patriots made it 10-0 on Vinatieri's 47-yard field goal.

Manning then led the Colts from their 23 to the New England 26. But Otis Smith returned his interception 78 yards for a 17-0 lead.

"People will probably be surprised," Otis Smith said, "but the key is we weren't surprised. We know we're a pretty good team."

Game notes
Harrison extended to 79 the team record he set in last Sunday's 42-26 win over Buffalo for consecutive games with a reception. ... The Patriots are 8-1 in their last nine home games against the Colts. ... Brady is the fourth quarterback to start for New England since Bledsoe was drafted with the first pick in 1993. The other two are Scott Zolak and Scott Secules. ... The 44 points were the most the Patriots scored in 78 games and the most the Colts allowed in 48 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

neTD3:00Otis Smith, 78 yd interception return
Drive info: 1 plays, 59 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
neTD12:49Ty Law, 23 yd interception return
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
neFG0:04Adam Vinatieri 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, -18 yds, 11:40
neFG9:40Adam Vinatieri 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, -15 yds, 1:41
neTD4:55Antowain Smith, 4 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 0:53
indTD1:05Peyton Manning, 10 yd run
Drive info: 7 plays, 64 yds, 3:29
neTD14:00Kevin Faulk, 8 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yds, 11:45
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 0:53
Drive info: 7 plays, 64 yds, 3:29
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yds, 11:45
neFG6:45Adam Vinatieri 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, -44 yds, 2:34
neTD3:55Antowain Smith, 2 yd run
Drive info: 8 plays, 52 yds, 4:10
Drive info: 8 plays, 52 yds, 4:10
Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yds, 3:25