Steve Grogan used pinpoint passing - particularly to Darryl Stingley and Rass Francis - to pick apart the Baltimore secondary and hand the Colts their first loss of the season, 17-3.
Grogan connected on 11 of 16 passes for 214 yards, and Stingley caught four of them for 116 yards.
And Francis was a one-man show, catching one Grogan pass for a touchdown and making a one-handed grab of another to sustain a key drive.
The victory gave the Patriots a 4-2 record, putting them just behind Baltimore and Miami, who are tied for the lead of the APC East with 5-1 marks.
Bert Jones, Baltimore's signal-caller and the AFC's leading passer, was harassed throughout the afternoon. He was sacked five times for a total loss of 59 yards.
The Colts managed only three first downs in the first half and crossed midfield just once reaching the New England 40 late in the half before being forced to punt.
The Patriots went 73 yards to score in the first quarter, on a two-yard plunge by Don Calhoun, John Smith converted.
The score came after the Patriots got a break when Smith apparently had kicked a 25-yard field goal. Defensive tackle Mike Barnes of Baltimore was charged with being offsides on the fourth-down play, giving the Patriots a first down on the Baltimore three. Calhoun bumped the ball over for a touchdown on his second attempt.
Steve Grogan passed 21 and 17 yards to tight end Russ Francis on the drive. Defensive end John Dutton appeared to have saved the Colts four points when he stopped Sam Cunningham with no gain on third down, leaving the Patriots with fourth down and a half-yard to go, forcing the field goal attempt.
The Patriots went 80 yards to score in the third quarter, on a 31-yard touchdown throw by quarterback Grogen to tight end Francis, who put a move on free safety Lyle Blackwood that caused him to fall. TIght end Don Hasselbeck gave Francis a good start with a block.
Francis also touched off the thrust toward the goal line with a one-handed reception.
The Colts finally got on the scoreboard with 4:38 to go in the quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Toni Linhart, kicking with the wind. It cut the Patriots' lead to 14-3.
On third and six at the New England 23-yard line, free safety Tim Fox broke up a pass by Bert Jones to tight end Raymond Chester in the end zone.
The Patriots extended their advantage to 17-3 with 40 seconds remaining in the third period, on Smith's 18-yard field goal.
Grogen passed to wide receiver Daryl Stingley for a 68-yard gain to the Baltimore eight-yard line. But on third and goal at the one-yard line, Calhoun was stopped without gain. Smith salvaged three points.