New England 43, Indianapolis 22
Date - 8:15 PM EST, Saturday, January 11, 2014
Location - Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Head Official -
Final Scoring Summary
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 to play.
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.
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.
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary
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