43, Colts 22
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[January 13, 2014]
Patriots 43, Colts 22: LeGarrette Blount rushed for 166 yards and four
touchdowns as host New England rode a punishing ground game to advance
to the AFC Championship Game.
Stevan Ridley added 52 yards and a pair of short scoring runs and
Tom Brady threw for 198 yards on 13-of-25 passing as the
second-seeded Patriots (13-4) amassed 234 yards rushing to reach
their eighth conference title game in 13 seasons. New England, which
became only the third team with six rushing touchdowns in a
postseason contest, will play at Denver or host San Diego on Jan. 19
with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck was unable to replicate his
dazzling comeback from a week ago against Kansas City, finishing
20-of-41 for 331 yards with two touchdowns and a career-high four
interceptions, giving him seven picks in his last two games. LaVon
Brazill had scoring receptions of 38 and 35 yards for the
fourth-seeded Colts (12-6).
Luck's second TD pass to Brazill pulled the Colts within 29-22 with
5:01 left in the third quarter, but New England put the game away on
touchdowns by Blount and Ridley 1:43 apart early in the fourth.
Blount broke loose on a 73-yard scoring run, giving him eight TDs in
his last four games, before linebacker Jamie Collins picked off Luck
to set up Ridley's 1-yard run to boost the lead to 43-22 with 11:12
The Patriots jumped out to a 21-7 lead less than four minutes
into the second quarter on three 2-yard scoring runs by Blount —
the first coming one play after Luck was picked off on his
second pass of the game. Luck moved the Colts into position for
Adam Vinatieri's 36-yard field goal on the ensuing drive before
a high snap and botched lateral attempt by Patriots punter Ryan
Allen resulted in a safety and a 21-12 halftime score.
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New England answered an opening second-half field goal by
Vinatieri with an 88-yard drive capped by Ridley's 3-yard run
and a conversion by Ridley for a 29-15 lead. Luck needed only
three plays and 77 seconds to respond with a 35-yard scoring
strike to Brazill to get the Colts within a touchdown, but they
would get no closer.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Patriots coach Bill Belichick earned his 19th
postseason victory, tying Don Shula for second on the all-time
list — one behind Tom Landry. ... Blount became the second
player in postseason history to rush for four touchdowns (San
Francisco's Rickey Watters, 5 in 1993) while setting a franchise
record for most TDs in a playoff or regular-season game. ...
Brazill's two scoring passes matched his total for the regular
season while Vinatieri extended his own record by scoring in 27
consecutive postseason games. ... Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski
was forced into punting duties after Allen injured his right
shoulder on the safety and averaged 41.8 yards on five kicks.
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