This season's only two remaining undefeated National Football League (NFL) teams met on Sunday in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the New England Patriots knocked off the home team Indianapolis Colts, 24-20. VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer was at the match and has a report.
This was one of the most anticipated NFL regular season games in years and it lived up to expectations. The reigning Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts came in at 7-0 and the visiting New England Patriots at 8-0.
The last time these teams met last January the stakes were higher, and the Colts beat the Patriot here in Indianapolis, 38-34 (in the American Conference Championship game) to reach the Super Bowl.
This contest was just as close but it was a lower scoring game than most expected from these two high-powered offenses led by league's best quarterbacks, Peyton Manning of Indianapolis and Tom Brady of New England.
This time it was New England winning by four points, 24-20.
The Colts took a 20-10 lead with under 10 minutes to play when Manning ran the ball in for a touchdown from the one-yard line. While home fans could sense a victory, it was not to be.
Brady engineered two touchdown scoring drives with under five minutes left, with the go-ahead touchdown coming on a 13-yard pass completion to running back Kevin Faulk.
Indianapolis got one last chance with the ball, but a fumble by Manning ended any hopes for the Colts.
Afterward, winning New England coach Bill Belichick said he refused to get caught up in the hype of this one regular season game.
"I don't care about all that," said Bill Belichick. "Really, it was a football game against the Colts. That's all it was. It's one game. It was a good competitive football game. Our guys made a few more plays and that's why we won. That's the significance of this game is to me. I'm happy for the players and I think they deserved it. They played hard."
With the 24-20 win over the Colts, New England runs its unbeaten record to 9-0 and Indianapolis drops to 7-1.