Manning can’t beat
FOXBORO, Mass (AP) — On a cold day in New England,
Ty Law and the New England Patriots put Peyton Manning on ice.
Law intercepted the previously flawless Indianapolis Colts quarterback
three times, Rodney Harrison added another and the Patriots beat
Indianapolis 24-14 to advance to their second Super Bowl in three
Jarvis Green had three of New England’s four sacks as the
constant pressure made the NFL’s co-MVP look very average.
The Patriots will play Carolina in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 in
Houston and were quickly installed as seven-point favourites. The
Panthers won the NFC championship by beating the Philadelphia Eagles
Had New England been able to score down close, it would have been
no contest. The Patriots had only one TD, settled for five field
goals by Adam Vinatieri and lost the ball at the Indy five early
in the fourth quarter when Tom Brady threw his first interception
in 10 home games this season.
“To go out and pick, pick, pick a guy that everybody was
building up, it was huge for us,” Harrison said, referring
to Manning, who threw eight touchdowns with no interceptions in
playoff wins over Denver and Kansas City.
The Colts never really got going Sunday until it was too late
to do anything against a defense that held Marvin Harrison, one
of the game’s leading receivers, to three catches for 19
Things were so bad that when the Colts finally had to punt for
the first time in the playoffs, the snap went over the punter’s
head and resulted in a safety.
“They did a good job defending us but we did things we haven’t
done. We turned the ball over, we snapped a poor snap on the punt,” Colts
coach Tony Dungy said. “We made some miscues and New England
is a good enough team to take advantage of that.”
Except when he got close to the goal-line, Brady was almost as
good in the cold weather as Manning had been in his first two games
under far more ideal conditions.