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Patriots Lead Colts 3-0 in 2nd Quarter

January 16, 2005

The Patriots took a 3-0 lead over the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter of their AFC divisional playoff game on Sunday in snowy Foxboro, Mass.

A game expected to feature high-powered offenses was dominated by defense in the early going, with neither team able to threaten in the scoreless first quarter. The Patriots finally were able to mount a long drive in the second, but a touchdown run on fourth down from the one yard line was called back because of a penalty. Adam Vinatieri, twice a Super Bowl hero, booted a 24-yard field goal for the game’s first score.

Sunday’s winner will keep rolling into the AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers next weekend.

Quarterback Tom Brady, unbeaten in six playoff games, led the Patriots to their second consecutive 14-2 record after winning his second Super Bowl MVP in three seasons. The Colts’ Peyton Manning had one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in NFL history with a league-record 49 touchdown passes.

That’s a nice line in the history books, but other numbers are far less pleasant to him _ a 2-9 record against the Patriots, an 0-6 mark in Foxboro and four interceptions there in a 24-14 loss in last year’s AFC championship game.

All-Pro defensive lineman Richard Seymour was inactive for the Patriots because of an injured left knee. Seymour got hurt three weeks ago in a win against the New York Jets and missed the Patriots’ final regular-season game. New England was off last week.

The Patriots also were without starting cornerbacks Ty Law and Tyrone Poole, both on injured reserve.

Robert Mathis, who was second on the Colts with 10 1/2 sacks, was inactive for Indianapolis. He injured his knee in last week’s wild-card win over Denver.

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