Drew Bledsoe and Terry Allen showed Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James how to finish a game.
Bledsoe, the top pick in the 1993 NFL draft, and the 31-year-old Allen helped the New England Patriots overcome a 21-point halftime deficit today to beat the Indianapolis Colts, 31-28.
Bledsoe threw three of his four scoring passes in the second half and Allen's runs set up Adam Vinatieri's winning 26-yard field goal with 35 seconds remaining. The Patriots moved to 2-0; the Colts dropped to 1-1.
"We let it slip out of our hands," Manning said. "They put on a football clinic in the second half."
The final blow was Vinatieri's second straight winning field goal after Allen ran three times for 17 yards and Bledsoe rushed five yards to the Indianapolis 3.
In the season opener, Bledsoe led New England on a comeback drive capped by Vinatieri's 23-yard field goal with three seconds remaining in a 30-28 win over the New York Jets.
In the first half, Manning, the top pick in the 1998 draft, threw three scoring passes to Marvin Harrison covering 42, 10 and 8 yards. James, the No. 4 pick this year, ran for a one-yard score. Bledsoe countered with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Jefferson.
The Patriots rallied in the second half as Bledsoe threw touchdown passes of eight yards to Allen with 4 minutes 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter and three yards to Ben Coates with 9:43 to go in the fourth.
New England marched 78 yards on 10 plays and tied the score with 3:03 left on Coates's 10-yard reception and Vinatieri's extra point.
The Patriots' defense, which set up Vinatieri's winning kick in the season opener with Chris Slade's interception, came through again when Brandon Mitchell recovered James's fumble at the Indianapolis 37 with 2:32 left.
Manning completed 18 of 30 passes for 223 yards. Bledsoe was 27 for 45 for 299 yards. Allen gained 74 yards on 15 carries and James rushed for 118 yards on 32 carries a week after debuting with 112 yards.