Brady was 29 of 42 for 375 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Randy Moss finished with nine catches for a season-high 179 yards and two TDs, while Welker had nine receptions for 94 yards.
Manning made sure that wasn’t quite enough.
Wayne caught 10 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
The difference in this classic was that Brady dominated early, Manning when it mattered most.
After trading jabs in the first quarter, Brady took control in the second. He led the Pats to a tie-breaking field goal, hooked up with Moss on a 63-yard TD pass that floated perfectly over the hands of safety Antoine Bethea and then threw a 9-yard TD pass to Julian Edelman to give New England a 24-7 lead with 7:19 left in the half.
That was more points than Indy had allowed in any game this season.
“That man (Brady) will make you pay dearly if you don’t get to him,” Colts defensive end Robert Mathis said. “Even when we’re behind, we know the game is not over.”
Manning proved the theory still holds.
He answered with a 20-yard TD pass to Wayne, making it 24-14 at the half and after Brady connected with Moss for a 5-yard TD early in the fourth, Manning worked his magic again.
He took the Colts 79 yards in five plays, finding Pierre Garcon for a 29-yard score to get within 10. After Stephen Gostkowski booted a 36-yard field goal, Manning gave the ball to Addai for a 4-yard TD run with 2:23 to go. That made it 34-28.
Indy then elected to kick the ball deep instead of trying an onside kick, prompting Belichick to make his unusual decision — and Manning made him pay.
“Reggie called the last play,” Manning said. “I threw a fade to him earlier in the game. He wanted the slant. He just kept fighting through and made an extended catch. Maybe not his best catch ever, but it sure was timely.”
ProFootballTalk: Patriots QB Tom Brady addressed Wes Welker’s decision to head West to Denver. Brady says he isn’t surprised by anything after being in the league for so long and hopes that Welker has a great season with the Broncos.
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