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NFL

Field goals boost Colts to win

©Associated Press
November 25, 2002

DENVER -- Apparently, all Mike Vanderjagt needed was a little snow to end his slump.

Vanderjagt kicked a 54-yard field goal through a heavy snowfall with 3 seconds left in regulation, then made a 51-yarder in overtime as the Colts beat the Broncos 23-20 Sunday night.

Indianapolis trailed 20-17 when it got the ball at its 20 with 1:40 left in regulation. The Colts moved 44 yards in 11 plays before sending Vanderjagt out for a 54-yard field goal attempt with 8 seconds left.

Despite missing five of his previous nine, Vanderjagt's kick sailed through the uprights with plenty of room to spare.

Indianapolis got the ball first in overtime and moved 35 yards for Vanderjagt's winning kick, which again had plenty of distance.

Denver lost its previous Sunday night game when Miami's Olindo Mare hit a 53-yard field goal with 6 seconds left after Jason Elam's 55-yarder 39 seconds earlier.

The Broncos are 7-0 in day games but 0-4 at night.

The Colts, who won at night for the first time in three games this season, overcame three turnovers to move a game ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South.

Temperatures dipped into the teens and a snowstorm that started just before the game grew worse. Snow blanketed the field by halftime and cold temperatures made heating coils under the field useless.

But after Denver took a 6-3 halftime lead, neither team appeared to be bothered much by the weather in the second half.

Denver moved 77 yards on its first drive of the half, counting a holding penalty, in six plays, capped by Clinton Portis' 11-yard touchdown run.

The Colts answered with an 80-yard drive in 16 plays, capped by James Mungro's 1-yard run off left tackle that made it 13-10.

Edgerrin James followed with a 2-yard touchdown that put the Colts up 17-13 near the end of the third quarter. The score was set up by Marcus Washington's 53-yard interception return to the 19.

Denver answered with a 9-yard touchdown run by Portis, who went through a huge hole on the right side before bouncing outside. Deltha O'Neal set up the score with a 53-yard punt return to the 20.

O'Neal also had a diving interception in front of Marvin Harrison in the fourth.

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