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Patriots-Colts rivalry filled with drama

By Howard Ulman
AP Sports Writer / November 17, 2010

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—Since Tom Brady became a starter in 2001, the Patriots have faced the Colts and Peyton Manning in every season except one, even though the teams have been in different divisions since 2002. The Patriots are 7-5 in those matchups, one of them with Brady sidelined, including 2-1 in the playoffs.

Here's a look at those 12 games between New England and Indianapolis:

Sept. 30, 2001 at Foxborough, Patriots 44, Colts 13 -- In his first pro start, Brady completes 13 of 23 passes, none for touchdowns, in Patriots' first win of season after two losses. Manning throws three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, and finishes with a 48.2 passer rating, currently the 10th worst of his career.

Oct. 21, 2001 at Indianapolis, Patriots 38, Colts 17 -- In the last game between the teams when both were in the AFC East, the Patriots cruise after leading 28-6 at halftime. David Patten catches two touchdown passes from Brady, one a 91-yarder, throws to Troy Brown for a 60-yard score and runs 29 yards for another touchdown.

Nov. 30, 2003 at Indianapolis, Patriots 38, Colts 34 -- The Colts, who joined the AFC South in 2002, and Patriots enter with 9-2 records. Manning throws four touchdown passes, but Brady's 13-yarder to Deion Branch breaks 31-31 tie with 8:36 left. Trailing 38-34, Colts have a second-and-goal at the 1 with 21 seconds left but can't score, with Willie McGinest tackling Edgerrin James for a 1-yard loss on fourth down.

Jan. 18, 2004 (AFC championship) at Foxborough, Patriots 24, Colts 14 -- Adam Vinatieri kicks five field goals in his next-to-last season with Patriots before joining the Colts. Manning struggles with four interceptions and a passer rating of 35.5, third worst in his 219 career games, including playoffs. Patriots win Super Bowl two weeks later.

Sept. 9, 2004 at Foxborough, Patriots 27, Colts 24 -- Patriots open season with comeback from 17-13 halftime deficit as Brady throws two scoring passes in third quarter. Colts miss a chance to tie the game on the final play when Mike Vanderjagt shanks a field goal after making his previous 42 attempts.

Jan. 16, 2005 (AFC divisional round) at Foxborough, Patriots 20, Colts 3 -- Corey Dillon rushes for 142 yards, Tedy Bruschi recovers two fumbles and Patriots continue toward their third Super Bowl championship in four years. Colts have three turnovers, including a fumble and interception on their last two possessions, while Patriots don't turn over the ball. Both quarterbacks have mediocre games.

Nov. 7, 2005 at Foxborough, Colts 40, Patriots 21 -- After six straight losses to Patriots, Colts finally start a winning streak. Manning begins the game winless in seven games against New England and throws for 321 yards and three touchdowns, two to Marvin Harrison, as Colts stay undefeated at 9-0. Patriots fall to 4-4 as they're outgained on the ground 132 yards to 34.

Nov. 5, 2006 at Foxborough, Colts 27, Patriots 20 -- Colts again enter the game at 8-0 and remain unbeaten as Manning outplays Brady. Manning throws for 326 yards and two touchdowns while Brady throws four interceptions, including one in the final two minutes, and has a 34.0 passer rating, the second lowest of his career to date. Vinatieri makes two field goal attempts in his first game against Patriots.

Jan. 21, 2007 (AFC championship) at Indianapolis, Colts 38, Patriots 34 -- Colts rally from 21-6 halftime deficit for 38-34 lead after Joseph Addai scores on 1-yard run with 1:00 left. Brady then takes Patriots from their 21 to Indianapolis 45 before throwing an interception to Marlin Jackson. Manning kneels down on remaining play; Colts win Super Bowl two weeks later.

Nov. 4, 2007 at Indianapolis, Patriots 24, Colts 20 -- Patriots, en route to 16-0 regular season, get two touchdown passes from Brady in the final eight minutes to overcome 20-10 deficit. Colts also begin game undefeated but their hopes end when Manning is sacked, fumbles and Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin comes up with ball with 2:25 to play.

Nov. 2, 2008 at Indianapolis, Colts 18, Patriots 15 -- Vinatieri breaks 15-15 tie with 52-yard field goal with 8:05 left. Patriots play without Brady, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener, but are 5-2 behind backup Matt Cassel. Colts even their record at 4-4 as Manning throws for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

Nov. 15, 2009 at Indianapolis, Colts 35, Patriots 34 -- Patriots lead 31-14 in fourth quarter on Randy Moss' second touchdown catch. Colts make it 34-28, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick, hoping to seal the win, gambles on fourth-and-2 at his 28, but Brady's completion to Kevin Faulk falls a yard short. Colts take over with 2 minutes left and, four plays later, Manning throws his fourth touchdown pass, a 1-yarder to Reggie Wayne with 13 seconds left. Vinatieri adds the decisive extra point.

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