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Patten's performance a rare treat

10/22/2001

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- David Patten did anything and everything the
New England Patriots needed. His performance was unlike any other
in the NFL in exactly 22 years.

Patten became the first player since Walter Payton in 1979 to
run, catch and pass for touchdowns in the same game, helping the
Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 38-17 on Sunday.

Quarterback Tom Brady, filling in for the injured Drew Bledsoe,
won for the third time in four starts and the New England defense
stopped Indianapolis' high-powered offense when it mattered.

Still, the day belonged to Patten.

"Every time I touched the ball, I was able to make something
happen," said Patten, who accounted for four of the Patriots' five
touchdowns. "That's what I pride myself on. I think I'm able to do
that every time I go on the field and today I made that happen."

He seemed the unlikeliest of heroes after playing little more
than his role as part of the Patriots' supporting cast in the first
five weeks.

On Sunday, he played more because receiver Terry Glenn was out
with a hamstring injury, and he was better than anyone could have
imagined.

He ran 29 yards for a touchdown on the Patriots' first offensive
play, threw a 60-yard TD pass to Troy Brown and caught two
touchdown passes himself, including a 91-yarder -- the longest play
from scrimmage in team history. The Patriots (3-3) won for the
third time in four games and swept the Colts for the season.

Patten finished with four receptions for 117 yards and the two
TDs.

Payton, the Chicago Bears' Hall of Famer, scored touchdowns by
running, passing and throwing on Oct. 21, 1979, against the
Minnesota Vikings.

Brady, who replaced Bledsoe four weeks ago, was almost as
impressive as Patten. He was 16-of-20 for 202 yards with three
touchdowns.

Bledsoe hasn't played since a hard hit by Mo Lewis of the New
York Jets on Sept. 23 caused bleeding in his chest, but the
Patriots have lost just once in his absence. It's unclear when
Bledsoe will return.

The Patriots had 385 yards in total offense and at one juncture,
had 31 points while running just 29 offensive plays.

Is Jim Mora's job in jeopardy?
The owner came out at the beginning of the season and said that if the Colts don't go far in the playoffs, there will be major changes. So is Mora's job in jeopardy now? Who knows? But the Colts are not playing up to their potential, and if things don't improve ... well, it's safe to say that the temperature is rising for Mora.

The Colts have been in a funk for three weeks now. They're playing flat, and you can't just pin it on the defense -- the offense isn't making plays, either. In fact, the Colts got beat at their own game today: the long pass.

ESPN.com NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.


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"It's about going out and executing our plays," Brady said.
"We executed them today."

The Colts (2-3) struggled for the second time in four weeks
against the Patriots, who beat them 44-13 on Sept. 30.

Right away it was clear it was not the Colts' day -- the
scoreboard didn't work at the start of the game.

In the first half alone, Mike Vanderjagt had two field-goal
attempts blocked, Peyton Manning was sacked three times, and
defensive back David Macklin was beaten on consecutive plays for
touchdown passes of 91 yards and 60 yards.

Not even good performances from the Colts' three offensive stars
could offset that.

Manning completed 22 of 34 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown,
Edgerrin James ran 30 times for 143 yards, and Marvin Harrison
caught eight passes for 157 yards, including a 2-yard TD pass. But
it wasn't enough.

"It started out bad with the blocked field goal and it didn't
get a whole lot better," Colts coach Jim Mora said.

The block, by Brandon Mitchell on the Colts' first possession,
was returned to the Indianapolis 29 by Leonard Myers and set up
Patten's touchdown run.

After a 42-yard field goal, the Patriots really got going on
offense.

Brady connected with Patten on a 91-yard TD pass. On New
England's next offensive play, Patten threw his 60-yard touchdown
pass to Brown, making it 21-3 midway through the second quarter.
Brown finished with eight receptions for 120 yards.

That was only the start.

Before halftime, Brady threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine
Wiggins to make it 28-3. When the half ended, the Colts headed to
the locker room to a chorus of boos and with a 28-6 deficit.

The Colts tried to rally, but New England sealed the outcome
early in the fourth quarter when Brady threw 6 yards to Patten for
another TD, making it 38-17.

"They were expecting us to come up with the same plan as last
time," Patten said. "It was a good day. It was one of those days
where everything was clicking."

Game notes
It was the final division game in the series between teams
who have played in the AFC East for the last 31 years. Next season,
the Colts will move to the AFC South. ... Colts right tackle Adam
Meadows missed the game with a sprained foot. ... Brown passed Russ
Francis and Harold Jackson to move into sixth place on the team's
career yards receiving list. ... It was only the second time in 13
games that the Colts lost when Harrison had 100 yards receiving and
James had 100 yards rushing.

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