New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones reacts after throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Deutsche Bank Park Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany, on Sunday. AP Photo/Steve Luciano

FRANKFURT, Germany — Jonathan Taylor ran for a first-quarter touchdown, Mac Jones threw a crucial interception in the fourth quarter, and the Indianapolis Colts held on for a 10-6 win over New England Patriots in Germany on Sunday.

Indianapolis had not scored fewer than 20 points in any of its first nine games this season. Half of that total was still enough to beat the Patriots’ misfiring offense.

The NFL’s 50th regular-season game outside the United States, and last of this season, was dominated by defense, and Taylor’s first-quarter touchdown was the only one of the game. It was the lowest-scoring game in the league this season.

Colts Coach Shane Steichen praised his team’s “phenomenal” defense to limit the Patriots to two field goals.

“Our defense stepped up. We moved the ball offensively, but we didn’t finish our drives like we normally do, but it was good to get the win,” he said.

Jones was sacked five times in the first half and was replaced by backup Bailey Zappe late in the fourth quarter.


Trailing 10-6 late in the fourth quarter, Jones drove the Patriots into the red zone but was intercepted by Julian Blackmon on a pass intended for tight end Mike Gesicki at the 1-yard line.

Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew threw a 28-yard pass to Josh Downs for a first down that forced the Patriots to start using their timeouts. Minshew was 18 of 28 for 194 yards, and Taylor gained 69 yards on 23 carries. Michael Pittman had eight receptions for 84 yards. Dayo Odeyingbo got three of the sacks for the Colts.

After New England eventually forced the Colts to punt, Zappe replaced Jones with 1:52 remaining. The Patriots converted on a fourth down to keep the drive alive, and then Zappe attempted a fake spike but threw into triple coverage and was picked off by Rodney Thomas to seal the game.

Jones was 15 of 20 for 170 yards and his league-leading 10th interception. Zappe, who replaced Jones for the third time this season, was 3 of 7 for 25 yards on the final drive.

Rhamondre Stevenson had 20 carries for 88 yards, and Ezekiel Elliott added 13 carries for 54 yards.

The Patriots dropped to 2-8, matching the worst start since Bill Belichick’s first year as New England’s coach in 2000, while the Colts improved to 5-5. The Patriots have not won a game outside of the AFC East.


For the first time since 1995, New England has failed to score a touchdown in three of its first 10 games.

“Obviously it was a disappointing game. Similar theme that we’ve had to other games this year,” Belichick said.

“Just too many missed opportunities in all three phases of the game. Just got to play better situational football and do a better job taking advantage of the opportunities that we have. We just didn’t do a good enough job today.”

Chad Ryland’s 37-yard field goal gave the Patriots an early lead, but Taylor rushed for a 1-yard touchdown on fourth down on the Colts’ first possession after twice gaining first downs on third-and-1 earlier in the drive.

Matt Gay missed a 57-yard field-goal attempt for the Colts at the end of the second quarter to leave the score 7-3 at the half.

Ryland, who missed a 35-yard attempt early in the third quarter, had a 24-yarder early in the fourth quarter to reduce the Colts’ lead to 7-6.


Gay then made 51-yarder to restore the Colts’ four-point lead, on a drive that was aided by Isaiah McKenzie’s 42-yard kickoff return.

The Patriots rival Kansas City for the title of the most popular team in Germany, which is widely viewed as the NFL’s most promising international market.

Patriots support in Germany grew in the 2010s during the team’s run of Super Bowl titles, including two with German offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, but the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs have caught up fast.

The Colts won an international game for the first time, moving to 1-1, and the Patriots lost a regular-season game outside the U.S. for the first time after winning their previous three.

It was the second regular-season NFL game at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt after the Chiefs beat the Dolphins 21-14 last week.


Colts defensive end Kwity Paye was evaluated for a hamstring injury in the first quarter but returned. … Colts defensive end Tyquan Lewis was evaluated after a calf injury in the first quarter but returned. … Indianapolis center Ryan Kelly left the game because of a concussion, his second of the season. … New England running back Rhamondre Stevenson had treatment for a back injury in the fourth quarter but returned. … Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore left the field for treatment in the fourth quarter. … Patriots offensive tackle Conor McDermott, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday, left the field for treatment in the fourth quarter.

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