FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 4: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts has words with Dan Orlovsky #6 of the Indianapolis Colts in the first half at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The Indianapolis Colts put up three garbage time touchdowns to make a much closer game than anyone would have imagined. Ultimately, the New England Patriots held on, despite their late-game sloppiness for the win.
Games between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts used to be epic struggles as two quarterbacking titans matched wits and arms on the gridiron. With Peyton Manning watching the 0-11 Colts from the sidelines, this season's game between these two teams lacked the presence of those games in the past. Despite some late-game dramatics from the Colts, the Patriots walked away with a 31-24 win.
New England shifted into cruise control after scoring all of their points in the first three quarters. Led by Dan Orlovsky, who knows a thing or two about being winless as a member of that infamous 0-16 Lions team in 2008, the Colts scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Orlovsky three for 353 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon scored twice in the late-game theatrics, and finished the game with nine catches for 150 yards.
As for the Patriots, the win almost featured a record-breaking performance from tight end Rob Gronkowski. He caught two touchdown passes, giving him 13 for the season and tying the NFL record for tight ends. His third touchdown was ruled a lateral and counted as a rushing touchdown, leaving him tied rather than breaking the record.
New England plays at Washington next week. Indianapolis continues the Andrew Luck chase with a game at Baltimore.
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