NFL 08: the Colts midnight-oil the Patriots

What a difference a year makes. The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots were both undefeated at this time last year.

The Patriots went to Indianapolis to mix mints with the Colts on Sunday Night Football. The first quarter progressed without much drama for either team until the game clock had fewer than three minutes left. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw to Anthony Gonzalez for a touchdown. Indianapolis 7 and New England 0. The second quarter spelled out a field goal for New England. Colts 7 and Patriots 3. New England increased their score with another field goal in the bottom of the quarter. Going into halftime, Colts 7 and Patriots 6.

The third quarter trotted on halfway when Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis made it into the end zone. A two-point conversion was not successful. New England 12 and Indianapolis 7. The Colts answered that TD with one of their own, thanks to Anthony Gonzalez. They went for an made a successful two-point conversion, courtesy of wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Indianapolis 15 and New England 12. The fourth quarter brought a tie after the Patriots made a field goal (at the cost of their last time-out). Halfway through the fourth quarter, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri made a fifty-two yard field goal. Indianapolis took the lead again. 18 to 15. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Perhaps the stop-and-go pacing of the first half of tonight’s game was the result of a Peyton Manning performing at 90% plus a non-Tom Brady Matt Cassel.

2. Al Michaels remarked that there were no penalties in the first half (excepting one in the last seconds of the second quarter when Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison couldn’t get out of bounds).

3. The camera went to an extreme close-up of Peyton Manning’s face after returning from the commercial break that followed BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s TD–Manning looked so discouraged. His eyes were twinkling like he was on the verge of a Kleenex moment.

4. Colts defensive back Bob Sanders made an awesome interception–Matt Cassel threw the ball in the general direction of tight end Benjamin Watson–in the bottom of the fourth quarter when the Patriots went ahead on a fourth down and sixteen.

4. Al Michaels and John Madden shared a laugh concerning candy corn.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

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