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Colts stave off Patriots behind Jonathan Taylor

Sportsnaut
Indianapolis Colts linebacker E.J. Speed (45) rushes to dive on a blocked punt to score a touchdown Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, during a game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker E.J. Speed (45) rushes to dive on a blocked punt to score a touchdown Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, during a game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Jonathan Taylor rushed for 170 yards, including a game-clinching 67-yard touchdown, and E.J. Speed scored on a blocked punt return as the Indianapolis Colts posted a 27-17 victory over the visiting New England Patriots on Saturday night.

Nyheim Hines scored a touchdown and Matthew Adams blocked the critical punt as the Colts (8-6) won for the fifth time in six games. Darius Leonard had an interception and forced fumble to go along with 10 tackles, and Indianapolis built a 20-point lead before holding off the New England charge.

Taylor, who carried the ball 29 times, topped 100 yards for the eighth time this season and the Colts have won each game. Indianapolis also snapped an eight-game losing skid against the Patriots, a streak that includes playoff losses in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Mac Jones completed 26 of 45 passes for 299 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for New England (9-5), which had its seven-game winning streak halted. Hunter Henry had six receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

The Colts hadn’t allowed a point in seven straight quarters until the Patriots came alive in the final quarter.

Jones tossed a 12-yard scoring pass to Henry on the first play and Nick Folk added a 25-yard field goal with 8:57 remaining.

Henry caught a 7-yard scoring pass with 2:21 remaining as New England crept within 20-17. But with the Patriots selling out on the run, Taylor got through the line of scrimmage and was in the clear on the decisive run for his 19th total touchdown of the season, one off the franchise record set by Baltimore Colts legend Lenny Moore in 1964.

The Patriots outgained the Colts 365 to 275.

Indianapolis’ Carson Wentz was just 5-of-12 passing for 57 yards and one interception. He was credited with a touchdown pass on what was basically a running play.

On the trick play, Taylor fielded the center snap and handed the ball to Wentz. Hines received a forward flip from Wentz and raced 8 yards to give the Colts a 7-0 lead with 3:53 left in the opening quarter.

Later in the quarter, New England’s Jake Bailey had his punt blocked by Adams. Speed recovered the ball in the end zone to make it 14-0 with 14 seconds remaining.

Speed also scored on a blocked put in a 23-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 14.

Michael Badgley kicked field goals of 25 and 41 yards — one in the second quarter, one in the third — to make it 20-0.

–Field Level Media