The famous “4th and 2” game will be re-aired on NBC Sports Network tonight at 7 pm. We take some time to remember a famous moment in Colts history.
The rivalry between the Colts and Patriots was one of the best rivalries in sports during the 2000s. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady seemed like they battled every year and it gave us some of the most exciting football games the league had to offer.
One of the most famous games from this rivalry occurred in Lucas Oil Stadium back in 2009. The 6-2 Patriots came into town to face off against an undefeated Colts squad at 8-0. It was the Sunday night game and the whole country was watching this great matchup.
Before the game started, the Patriots held an 8-5 advantage over the Colts in that decade. Brady seemed to have Manning’s number for the majority of the decade. But this was one of the best Colts teams that he had quarterbacked and was determined to make a statement.
The first quarter started out great, as the Colts had a 7-0 lead after a Joseph Addai touchdown gave them the early lead. New England would tie it up by the end of the quarter though with a rushing touchdown from Laurence Maroney.
The second quarter was a disaster for Manning and company though. While the Colts’ next three drives combined for 10 plays and no points, the Patriots ran an 11 play drive that ended in three points and had a two-play drive that ended in a 63-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss.
Brady threw another touchdown pass to bring the lead up to 24-7 for New England. It looked like it was going to be another Patriots blowout. But Manning was able to get another touchdown on the board before the half, throwing a 20-yard strike to Reggie Wayne.
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After the Patriots held a 24-14 first-half lead, things got crazy. The first drive out of the locker room, Brady threw a pick to Antoine Bethea. All of a sudden, the Colts were in business. But Manning promptly threw an interception right back.
New England went on an 11 play drive that ended in a fumble in the end zone that Gary Brackett recovered. But the Colts had to punt it away, and that led to a Patriots touchdown just after the end of the third quarter. It was a 31-14 New England lead with less than one quarter to play.
The fourth quarter helped build onto Manning’s already legendary legacy. Manning immediately led them down the field to a touchdown in just over two minutes, which cut the lead to 31-21. After a New England punt, Manning threw a back-breaking pick with just under 8 minutes left.
New England turned that interception into a field goal. The Colts were now down 34-21 with just over four minutes left to play. That’s plenty of time for Manning, and he led the offense to score a touchdown in just 1:49. It was now 34-28, and the Colts had the two-minute warning and all three timeouts left.
This is where Bill Belicheck lost his mind. After three plays only netted them 8 yards, he decided to go for it on 4th and 2 from his own 28-yard line. Brady threw a pass to Kevin Faulk, but he was stoned by Melvin Bullit to give the Colts the ball back.
Manning didn’t waste this opportunity. He threw a touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne with just 13 seconds left. The extra point gave them a 35-34 lead, and ultimately a victory. It was one of the greatest endings to a game between these two teams that we have seen.
I surely will be checking out the re-air of this game tonight on NBCSN, and you should too.