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Patriots Exploit Mistakes

November 02, 1998|From Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — New England made the Indianapolis Colts pay dearly for cornerback Jeff Burris' mistakes.

Burris was called for pass interference three times Sunday. The first two set up touchdowns by the Patriots, and the third was declined when the pass from Drew Bledsoe went for a 63-yard touchdown to rookie Tony Simmons in a 21-16 victory.

"Tony stepped up and had a great game for us," said Bledsoe, who was 22 for 35 for 306 yards. "He has the speed and can run with the best of them."

New England (5-3) needed only one play after an Indianapolis punt early in the fourth quarter to clinch it. Burris tried to break up the long pass, but Simmons held on, broke free at the Colt 20 and ran in for his first career touchdown.

"I'm man enough to take responsibility for this loss," Burris said. "I didn't play well. Their best beat my best. Today just wasn't my day."

The Colts (1-7) had a season-high 30 completions by rookie Peyton Manning, including touchdown passes of four yards to Lamont Warren in the first quarter and 15 yards to Marcus Pollard with 3:40 left in the fourth. But the last two Indianapolis drives ended with interceptions by Lawyer Milloy, Manning's NFL-high 15th and 16th.

The first interference call against Burris gave New England the ball at the Indianapolis 10. Robert Edwards, the NFL's top rookie rusher, picked up eight yards on the next play and Bledsoe passed the final two yards to Ben Coates.

Coates finished with 10 catches for 109 yards, his first 100-yard game since 1996.

Simmons later interfered with Simmons in the end zone, setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Edwards.

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