Jonathan Taylor’s 67-yard touchdown run halted New England Patriots’ fourth-quarter comeback and earned the Indianapolis Colts an impressive 27-17 victory.
Indianapolis had dominated the Patriots and led 20-0 heading into the fourth quarter but rookie Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw two touchdowns to tight end Hunter Henry to make it a three-point game with just over two minutes left.
But star running back Taylor emphatically ended the contest and the Patriots’ seven-match winning streak with his 17th rushing touchdown of the season.
Victory strengthened the Colts’ grip on a wild card spot and closed to within one game of the Tennessee Titans at the top of the AFC South, while the Patriots could see their lead at the summit of the AFC East cut to one game on Sunday by the Buffalo Bills – their next opponents.
The hosts surged into a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, with Nyheim Hines’ eight-yard touchdown run added to by EJ Speed’s special teams score following a blocked punt.
Michael Badgley’s field goal stretched the advantage to 17-0 and the Patriots ended the half without a point for the first time in 100 games after Jones was intercepted in the red zone by Darius Leonard.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard pushes away New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers after intercepting a pass (Aaron Doster/AP)
Jones threw another pick early in the second to Bobby Okereke and the Colts extended their lead further through another Badgley field goal.
Patriots defensive back Kyle Dugger and Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman were both ejected following a scrap and the visitors headed into the final quarter still scoreless.
That changed with the first play of the fourth period as Jones threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Henry, before Devin McCourty intercepted Wentz on the Colts’ next possession to seemingly change the momentum.
Nick Folk’s field goal and Henry’s second touchdown appeared to set up an exciting ending, but Taylor had the final say.