Colts' late rally is for naught


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Carolina found another way to avoid a loss

Instead of giving the ball to Stephen Davis and watching him
rumble over defenses, they got a 47-yard field goal by John Kasay
5:34 into overtime for a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Question on the Panthers: Is it time to finally start taking the Panthers seriously?
Yes, it's been time to take them seriously for a while. The Panthers play good, hard-nosed football. They make teams earn any points they score and smack them in the mouth while doing so. This team has the ability to do some damage in the NFC.

Question on the Colts: Has this defense been exposed the past two weeks?
Yes. This is the same defense from the past two seasons. They're a little soft and can be pushed around by the right teams. They aren't going to shut teams down or cause turnovers. They are an improved group that lacks a dominant playmaker to put them over the top.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

A week after Peyton Manning led the Colts to a record-setting
comeback over Tampa Bay on Monday night, the Colts (5-1) could not
come up with a second straight overtime win.

DeShaun Foster ran for 85 yards, and set up Kasay for the
winning field goal.

The Panthers (5-0) have now won seven straight dating to last
season and are one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL.
The others are Kansas City (6-0) and Minnesota (5-0).

Carolina trailed early, then rallied in the second half with
Davis -- the NFC's leading rusher -- spending most of the final 21
minutes on the bench after a fumble. A team spokesman said Davis
bruised his arm although that was not the reason immediately given
for his absence.

Yet with a capacity crowd chanting "Let's Go Colts" near the
end of regulation and throughout overtime, Foster and the Panthers
got the job done.

Foster powered over the Colts, broke tackles and dominated a
worn-down Colts defense, even when it appeared the Colts may be
headed toward a second overtime win in six days. He finished with
16 carried and a 5.3 average

But the Panthers won the overtime coin toss, took the ball and
gave it to Foster, and the Colts never got another chance.

Manning led the Colts on a 91-yard drive in the game's final
three minutes, hitting a wide open Reggie Wayne on a 25-yard TD
pass to tie the score with 45 seconds left in regulation.

Manning finished 23 of 34 for 293 yards with one touchdown.
Marvin Harrison caught eight passes for 119 yards, breaking Raymond
Berry's franchise record for yards receiving and becoming the
fastest player in NFL history to 700 receptions.

Harrison now has 9,387 yards and reached the 700-mark in 114
games -- 25 games faster than the previous record-holder, Jerry

But Foster dominated in overtime. While Davis finished with 76
yards and one touchdown on 15 carries, Foster was the workhorse as
the Panthers again used a strong ground game, a stifling defense
and good returns to rally from a 13-3 halftime deficit.

The Colts lost control quickly.

Indianapolis' opening second-half possession ended when Harrison
could not handle a pass from Manning and Ricky Manning Jr.
intercepted it. On the next play, Davis, who had been held to 10
yards rushing in the first half, broke four tackles and scored on a
28-yard run.

The Panthers took a 17-13 lead on their next possession when
Nick Harper fell down and Jake Delhomme connected with Steve Smith
on a 52-yard TD pass -- the longest pass play of the season for

Carolina also got a 23-yard field goal from Kasay early in the
fourth quarter after a 42-yard punt return from Steve Smith.


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