January 20, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 60  

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Manning can’t beat the Law

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 seasons.

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 14-3.

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 yards.

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.



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