Road ends in Indy
INDIANAPOLIS -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady promised a classic in tonightís AFC Championship game against the Colts. The teams didnít disappoint. This was an indeed an instant classic.
After a first half in which the Patriots controlled most of the action, the second half was simply sizzling. The Colts charged back from a 15-point halftime deficit, tying the game and setting up a toe-to-toe battle that added another epic chapter to this still-growing rivalry.
In the end, it came down to this: Holding a 3-point lead with 2:17 left, the Patriots couldnít run out the clock, and faced the challenge of attempting to stop the Colts, who started at their own 20 yard-line.
It was too tall a task.
Quarterback Peyton Manning, who had been dogged by his inability to lead the Colts to the Super Bowl, directed a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive, with rookie running back Joseph Addai bursting up the middle for a 3-yard score with one minute remaining, giving the Colts their first lead, 38-34.
The Patriots had one final chance, taking over at their 20 with two timeouts, but after advancing to the Coltsí 40, Brady was intercepted as the Colts recorded a thrilling victory before a super-charged crowd of 57,433 at the RCA Dome.
The Colts advance to Super Bowl XLI against the Bears on Feb. 4. The Patriotsí season ends, with the team suffering its first-ever loss in the AFC Championship game.