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Patriots 3, Colts 0, End 1st: Patriots On Top Early, But Colts Not Backing Down

The New England Patriots have a 3-0 lead after the first quarter of action in Foxboro, but are just one yard away from giving the Colts the first lead the team has had in six weeks.

With the Colts winning the coin toss and electing to receive the ball, the Patriots' defense showed no signs of letting the new-look offense under Dan Orlovsky get off to a good start. A holding penalty on the first play from scrimmage backed Indianapolis up 10 yards, and a big sack from Vince Wilfork on 3rd-and-4 ended the opening drive in a hurry.

The Patriots took some more time for their drive. After Brady's scramble let the Patriots convert on 3rd-and-1, a 15-yard strike to Wes Welker and an illegal substitution penalty set the Patriots up deep in enemy territory. For a moment it seemed as though they had wasted the opportunity when Kevin Faulk lost the ball on a second down run, but an aware Bill Belichick tossed the challenge flag and kept his record perfect as replays showed that Faulk was flat on his back before a Colts defender punched the ball out of his arm.

Unfortunately, the drive would still stall at that spot. While Faulk had brought the Patriots within two yards of a first down, the pass protection broke down on the ensuing third down. Flushed out of the pocket, Brady made a poor decision and broke forward, awkwardly sliding to the ground at the line of scrimmage. Now facing fourth down, Stephen Gostkowski put the ball through the uprights to give New England the early lead.

The momentum would quickly switch in Indianapolis' favor, however. Getting a chance to throw the ball, Dan Orlovsky hit the first six passes of the drive and Joseph Addai added some strong running to bring the Colts to the goal line with a chance to take their first lead in a long while. The Patriots will need a goal line stop to avoid being the ones to pick up the dubious honor of allowing it.