By: Ian Logue/
September 10, 2004

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FOXBORO, MA -- Watching Patriots back-up quarterback Rohan Davey during the preseason should only make New England fans appreciate Tom Brady that much more.

What else can you say? Brady's just that good.

Each time the Patriots fell behind against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night, a calm and cool Brady came right back and guided New England's offense back down the field against the Colts, managing the clock all evening and leading them to a 27-24 win over Indianapolis.

Brady finished the night with 335-yards and three touchdown passes, along with completing 26-of-38 passing.

No matter how much the Patriots defense struggled against the Colts offense, every time he stepped on the field, Brady was poised and in command, guiding the team down the field each time and helping them stay in the game.

A good example of Brady's poise came during the 3rd quarter. Down 17-13 Brady was facing a critical 3rd and 10 from his own 31-yard line. The Colts defense collapsed the right side of the pocket, and with his eyes still downfield he calmly rolled right and converted a 1st down on a perfectly thrown pass to Deion Branch to pick up 12-yards. The drive eventually ended in a touchdown to put them on top at 20-17.

Another case in point, take a look at New England's touchdown drive late in the third quarter. The Patriots were at midfield and Brady on two consecutive plays took some hard shots by the Colts defense, but still completed passes of 29 and 25-yards which set up a touchdown to tight end Daniel Graham after yet another perfect throw, extending the Patriots lead to 27-17 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the end Brady led his team to another victory, but he'll be the first to admit there's plenty of work ahead.

"I think you win and move on,” said Brady after the game. "There's lots of room for improvement.”

Meanwhile runningback Corey Dillon had a solid outing against the Colts. Dillon had shown flashes of brilliance during the preseason but reminded everyone why he's been considered to be one of the league's best runningbacks Thursday night after finishing the evening with 86-yards on 15-carries including a 38-yard run in the 2nd quarter.

The great thing about Dillon's success is it made Brady that much better, keeping the Colts defense back on it's heels while Brady spent much of the evening picking it apart.

Dillon had missed the team's first series after they started in a no huddle, but came into the game later on and made some nice runs early. In the end he impressed Brady, and will likely be looking to build on his performance in the coming weeks.

"What a great game,” Brady said of Dillon after the game. "He broke some great runs, [he] ran over people. It was great to have him out there.”

Play Of the Game

Willie McGinest's sack on the Colts final drive which pushed their offense back, causing Mike Vanderjagt to have to attempt a 48-yard field goal that he eventually missed wide right, allowing the Patriots to run out the clock.

Worst Call of the Night

The Tyrone Poole illegal contact penalty early in the 4th quarter. What looked like incidental contact was ruled a penalty, a play which will likely infuriate Belichick when he looks back at the film.