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Colts take advantage of Pats' gamble, 35-34

The Patriots failed to convert on a fourth-and-2 from the 28 yard-line with just under 2 minutes left at Indianapolis, leading to a Peyton Manning 1-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne with 13 seconds left to give Indy a 35-34 victory over New England.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Bill Belichick risked it all Sunday night.

And lost.

After failing to convert a fourth-and-2 from his own 28 with just under 2 minutes left at Indianapolis, Peyton Manning threw a 1-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne with 13 seconds left to give Indy a 35-34 victory over rival New England.

It was the most improbable victory in the Colts 18-game winning streak, which ties the Patriots for the second-longest in league history.

They trailed 34-21 with four minutes left and seemed all but written off - just as they have in several other prime-time games this decade.

While it was another magical comeback for Manning, this one was set up by Belichick's bungled play-calling - and the first time he's ever lost a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Belichick called two timeouts on the series, the second to set up the fourth-down play - a short pass from Tom Brady to Kevin Faulk. It came up about a half-yard short of the first down marker, giving Manning the ball at the New England 29 with 1:57 left and all three timeouts - an eternity for the three-time MVP.

Manning ran three plays before finding Wayne for the winning score and left New England with virtually no chance to rally.

New England (6-3) has now lost five of the last six in this series, while Indy remained undefeated at 9-0.

Manning also passed Fran Tarkenton on the career victory list with No. 126, a win that Manning certainly will remember for a long time and many reasons.

It was over when...

Colts WR Reggie Wayne made a leaping grab in the end zone with 16 seconds remaining. Matt Stover's extra point gave Indy a 35-34 lead, capping a four-play drive that started at Indy's 29-yard line after the two-minute warning.

Game ball

In addition to the game winner, Wayne also had a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter and finished with 126 yards on 10 receptions.

Key Stat

The Patriots wasted two timeouts on their final drive and then were unable to challenge a controversial spot when coach Bill Belichick decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 with just more than two minutes left. The Colts got the ball back on their own 29-yard line and scored the game winner four plays later.


Colts RB Joseph Addai hurt his right hand in the first quarter, went to the locker room and returned to action in the second half with his ring and middle fingers taped together. ... Patriots DE Tully Banta-Cain left the game in the first quarter with a rib injury. ... Colts WR Pierre Garcon left the game after falling beyond the end zone in the second quarter. He had his left foot wrapped on the sideline and returned on the next series. ... The Colts are 5-0 at home this season and have won 11 straight home games, which ties the second-longest home win streak in franchise history. ... The Patriots are 14-9 all-time at Indianapolis.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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