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NFL '97 WEEK 2 | NEW ENGLAND 31, INDIANAPOLIS 6

Colts Are Put on All Fours by Bledsoe

September 08, 1997|From Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — New England's Drew Bledsoe is throwing touchdown passes at a record pace after two weeks of the NFL season.

Bledsoe threw four touchdown passes for the second consecutive game as New England defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-6, on Sunday. Dan Marino holds the NFL record with 48 touchdown passes in 1984.

Bledsoe, the first pick in the 1993 draft, has thrown for 607 yards in helping the defending AFC champion Patriots to their first 2-0 start since 1986.

With leading receiver Terry Glenn sidelined because of a sprained left ankle, Bledsoe threw scoring passes to four different players. Eight players have caught his touchdown passes.

"There's no better statement about the offense, and the weapons that we we have, than the fact that eight touchdowns have gone to eight different guys in two weeks," said Bledsoe, who also raised his career passing yardage to 15,249--the third-highest total in franchise history. "That's just mind-boggling. It just shows the kind of weapons that I'm working with."

Bledsoe completed 15 of 25 passes without an interception and was sacked only once despite frequent pressure.

"If I can continue to do my job, then we should continue to have some success," he said.

Shawn Jefferson caught a 34-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and had the longest reception in his seven-year career, a 64-yarder, to set up New England's second score. Curtis Martin, who rushed for 125 yards in 25 carries, hauled in a swing pass and ran 21 yards for a touchdown.

Vincent Brisby was left uncovered in the end zone in the third quarter, and Bledsoe found him for a six-yard score, capping a nine-play drive that covered 79 yards.

The fourth touchdown came after Indianapolis quarterback Jim Harbaugh fumbled as he was scrambling. Tedy Bruschi recovered at the Indianapolis 21, and on the next play, Bledsoe found Troy Brown open for the score.

The only points by Indianapolis (0-2) came on Cary Blanchard field goals of 45 and 38 yards in the first half as the Colt offense failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive game.

"We got a lot of hard work to do. We realize that," Coach Lindy Infante said. "We've been in two games and haven't gotten the ball into the end zone. That's about as depressed as you can get about anything."

New England also continued its dominance of running back Marshall Faulk. Going into the game with an average of 47.2 yards rushing in five games against the Patriots, Faulk was held to 23 yards in 15 carries.

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