The Patriots have avoided a repeat of their 2009 collapse as James Sanders threw his third interception of the night, sealing the Patriots’ 31-28 win.
It was an eerily similar situation. After taking the 31-14 lead in the fourth quarter, the Patriots let up two quick-and-easy touchdowns. With Tom Brady and the Patriots offense suddenly unable to keep a drive going, Manning got the ball back with enough time and timeouts to lead a potentially game-winning drive down field. With the Colts moving and the Patriots seemingly unable to get a stop, things looked perfectly setup for a repeat of 2009’s collapse.
And then Peyton Manning threw his third pick of the night, this time to James Sanders, and the Patriots took a knee. It was the kind of big play the Patriots desperately needed out of the defense, since it seemed unlikely they could put four good ones together in a row.
That’s back-to-back victories over the Steelers and Colts for the Patriots now after the unfortunate loss in Cleveland, and clearly this is a different team from last year. Not only did they seal the deal against Indy this time, but it’s just another big win over a good team—something seriously lacking last year.