After a 43-22 rout, you could be forgiven if you thought that Tom Brady had another outstanding day in his New England Patriots playoff office to beat the Indianapolis Colts.
Instead it was another amazing day for LaGarrette Blount, who rushed for four scores, add on Stevan Ridley’s two efforts on the ground to paydirt and the lopsided scoreline was completed. Without one single TD pass from Brady.
Andrew Luck could not summon enough of his comeback magic and in a bold effort, but his four interceptions, one more than last week, were just too much to overcome.
Blount’s 166 yards rushing and four scores were both franchise playoff records.
Midway through the first quarter the Patriots were 14-0 up after two short yard runs by Blount, the first after a Luck interception in the opening minute. The Colts QB was not put off by this early mistake and took his team down field to cut the score, finding LaVon Brazill from 38 yards. Blount got his third two yard touchdown run of the game to put the Patriots back ahead by two touchdowns.
Before the half was over there was some drama. After an Adam Vinatieri field goal, the Colts got two more points when a long snap to New England punter Ryan Allen sailed over his head. Allen raced back to salvage something from the play but instead of doing the sensible thing of kicking the ball through the end zone he inexplicably picked it up and tried to pass. The ball was knocked away and through the end zone. The play ended Allen’s day as he injured his shoulder, meaning that kicker Stephen Gostowski had to be a makeshift punter and Tom Brady the holder on kick attempts. The half time score was 21-12 to the Patriots, and was just about a fair reflection of the game so far.
The Colts forced a quick three-and-out and then got another field goal to put themselves right in the game. Ridley then got his first trip to the end zone halfway through the third period and converted a two point play. Indianapolis were now in a pass only situation and just three plays later they cut the lead again, Luck finding Brazill for another long score.
Entering the last period of play the game was very much in the balance, but the Colts resolve was finally broken when Blount raced through their front line and there was no one quick enough to catch him as he went 73 yards, Ridley added his second score of the night to round off the scoring.
The margin of victory was a little harsh on the Colts but they simply had no answer to a run game and overall game plan that the Patriots had. For the third straight year New England will contest for the AFC Championship, you can never rule out this team and through the adversity and injuries they still manage to produce.