FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots went with a third-string quarterback and a second-rate running attack, but got a first-class performance by its defense and special teams.
The Patriots scored touchdowns in the third quarter on Willie Scott's three-yard return of a blocked punt and Ronnie Lippett's 45-yard interception runback to beat the Indianapolis Colts, 24-0.
The victory put the Patriots (5-5) into a five-way tie in the AFC East. Every team in the conference is 5-5.
With Tony Eason and Steve Grogan hurt, New England used Tom Ramsey at quarterback. Its running attack, last in the NFL in 1986, went into Sunday's game ranked 24th. Helped by Bob Perryman's 48-yard run, the Patriots outrushed the Colts, 139-126.
"When you shut out a team like the Colts, you've done a heck of a job," Berry said. "They've been scoring big points. They've got a very well-balanced football team."
The Colts outgained New England, 324 to 313, but got 147 after trailing by 24 points. They also committed five turnovers.
Eric Dickerson ran 27 times for 117 yards, the fewest in his three starts as a Colt, and lost a fumble.
Earlier in the week, Dickerson said he thought he could gain 2,000 yards in a season with the Colts before his career is over.
"A guy like Dickerson won't get 2,000 yards if he plays against the Patriots every week," New England defensive end Ken Sims said.
The Patriots snapped a two-game losing streak and recorded their first shutout since Oct. 19, 1986 when they beat Pittsburgh, 34-0. The last time the Colts were shut out was Nov. 20, 1983 in a 37-0 loss to Miami.
Ramsey, making his first start in his three NFL seasons, threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Irving Fryar in the second quarter. Tony Franklin's 34-yard field goal 1:08 before halftime gave the Patriots a 10-0 lead.
Ramsey completed 12 of 26 passes for 183 yards. Stanley Morgan had 5 catches for 102 yards, giving him 9,294 career receiving yards. He moved into seventh place in league history, ahead of Berry's 9,275.
"Our club knew that Ramsey was a gifted player," Indianapolis Coach Ron Meyer said. "I knew because I had him (when Meyer was with New England)."
The Colts, who went into the game as the league leader in takeaways, turned the ball over on four consecutive second-half possessions in addition to the blocked punt.
On the Colts' second possession of the third quarter, Scott, a seven-year veteran tight end, blocked Rohn Stark's punt after coming off Mike Prior's block. Scott picked the ball up after two bounces and scored with 5:27 gone in the period.
Lippett scored with 12:28 gone in the quarter when he stepped in front of Matt Bouza, picked off Gary Hogeboom's pass and raced untouched down the left side for the touchdown.