With the Patriots playing their second game against the Colts in the division round on Saturday night, let's revisit the last division round game played 10 years ago.
2004 – NEW ENGLAND 20, INDIANAPOLIS 3:
With 522 points scored during the regular season, the Colts came into Foxboro Stadium as heavy favorites to dethrone the Super Bowl Champion Patriots, who were missing Richard Seymour, Ty Law and Tyrone Pool. However, the Patriots controlled the ball for more than 38 minutes with Corey Dillon rushing for 144 yards. Brady was steady with only 144 yards passing and a touchdown. Brady also rushed for a touchdown. Manning was held to no touchdowns and threw an interception to Rodney Harrison with 10 seconds left in the game.
The Patriots' defense allowed 276 yards and forced three turnovers as New England held the NFL's highest-scoring offense without a touchdown in a game played in sleet and a 16-degree wind chill.
The Patriots held the ball for most of the game with more than 37 minutes in time of possession, including 21:26 in the second half.
The Colts had just two first downs when Adam Vinatieri's second, 2nd quarter field goal gave the Patriots a 6-0 lead. In the final 1:52 of the first half, the Colts drove 67 yards. With two seconds remaining, Patriots safety Eugene Wilson knocked down Peyton Manning's pass in the end zone for an incompletion, forcing the Colts to settle for a Mike Vanderjagt's 23-yard field goal.
|Tedy Bruschi celebrates after his fumble recovery (USA Today).|
Also in the first half, Tedy Bruschi made the statement play of the game when he ripped the ball directly from Dominic Rhodes arms at 3:09 left in the half. Bruschi was shown holding the ball up to the crowd saying this is what the Colts want, but "they don't got it! They don't got it!"
After an exchange of punts to begin the second half, the Patriots controlled the ball for 8:16 to drive 87 yards in 15 plays, 11 on the ground, and capped by David Givens' 5-yard touchdown catch for a 13-3 lead with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Five plays later, the Colts punted and the Patriots drove 94 yards in 14 plays, while burning 7:50 off the clock. Corey Dillon's 27-yard run to the Colts' one yard line set up Tom Brady's 1-yard sneak for a 20-3 lead with 7:10 left in the game. Rodney Harrison then intercepted Manning's pass in the end zone with four seconds left to preserve the 17-point margin of victory.
Key Stats from the game:
Brady was 18 of 27 passing for 144 yards and one touchdown. Dillon rushed 23 times for 144 yards. Manning was 27 of 42 passing for 238 yards with one interception.
Kevin Saleeba is the senior editor and columnist for Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinSaleeba or like him on Facebook