The Patriots are heading to their third straight AFC Championship Game by virtue of their 43-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night. The game will be next Sunday at a site to be determined -- either at Gillette Stadium if San Diego upsets Denver, or at Sports Authority Field at Mile High if the Broncos win at home Sunday.
Here are the hots and nots from our print edition, followed by the game notes supplied by the Patriots' media relations department.
The hots and nots:
LeGARRETTE BLOUNT: Three touchdowns in the first half tied a Patriots’ record that stood from the Fog Bowl against the Steelers in the last millennium, and he broke a 73-yarder for a score to break the record (both regular-season and postseason).
JULIAN EDELMAN: He accounted for 69 of Tom Brady’s 101 passing yards in the first half.
DONT'A HIGHTOWER: He made a play in coverage, intercepting a pass intended for fullback Stanley Havili, who let the ball roll off his hands and shoulder and into Hightower’s hands.
JAMIE COLLINS: An 8-yard sack on Andrew Luck, he made a play on a throw to LaVon Brazill in the end zone, and then had a fourth-quarter interception.
STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI: For a guy that hasn’t punter (and doesn’t have the steps down pat), his first punt in Ryan Allen’s relief went 53 yards.
TOM BRADY: Held flawlessly for Stephen Gostkowski’s two extra points in the fourth quarter.
DANNY AIKEN: His wild snap over Ryan Allen’s head not only resulted in a safety for the Colts, but also put Allen on the injured list.
ALFONZO DENNARD: His early interception set up the game’s first score and put the Colts in catch-up mode for most of the game, but he did get beaten for one of LaVon Brazill’s TD catches. He added a second interception late in the game.
2: Number of NFL teams to make the playoffs in every postseason from 2009-13, the Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.
3: Curtis Martin’s former team record for rushing touchdowns in a playoff game, tied by LeGarrette Blount in the first half.
4: Number of rushing touchdowns for LeGarrette Blount after his 73-yard touchdown run with 12:55 left in the game, a Patriots’ record for any game, regular-season or postseason.
7: Number of AFC Championship Game appearances for the Patriots since 2001, most in the NFL since then.
17: Number of Patriots that are playing in the postseason for the first time.
53: The length of Stephen Gostkowski’s first punt in relief of the injured Ryan Allen.
57: Game-time temperature at Gillette Stadium.
215: Consecutive sellouts in Foxboro.
5,949: Tom Brady’s postseason passing yards entering Saturday’s game, most in the NFL.
JULIAN EDELMAN: Appeared to hurt his right hand or wrist after a 27-yard catch in the second quarter, but came right back.
RYAN ALLEN: His right shoulder was banged up on the safety in the second quarter, and he did not return.
KENBRELL THOMPKINS: Slow to get up on a ball thrown his way in the third quarter. Called a head injury.
In Robert Kraft’s 20 years of ownership of the Patriots, they have qualified for the postseason playoffs 15 times. Included in that time are 13 AFC East crowns, six Super Bowl appearances and three victories.
And the game notes:
PATRIOTS MOUNT HISTORIC RUSHING ATTACK
The Patriots scored six rushing touchdowns against the Colts, tying the second best rushing touchdown performance in NFL postseason history and scoring the most rushing touchdowns in the history of the franchise (regular season or playoffs). LeGarrette Blount had a record-setting four touchdowns, while Stevan Ridley added a pair of touchdowns for New England.
NFL TEAM RECORD BOOK / MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS IN A PLAYOFF GAME
Date Team Opponent Rush TD
12/08/40 Chicago Washington 7
01/11/14 New England Indianapolis 6
01/14/94 San Francisco New York Giants 6
[Accomplished 4 times] 5
PATRIOTS TEAM RECORD BOOK / MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS IN ANY GAME
Includes Regular Season and Playoff Games
Date Opponent Rush TD W/L Score
01/11/14 Indianapolis* 6 W 43-22
09/08/63 New York Jets 4 W 38-14
10/03/76 Oakland 4 W 48-17
10/18/76 New York Jets 4 W 41-7
10/22/78 Miami 4 W 33-24
10/29/78 New York Jets 4 W 55-21
10/16/83 San Diego 4 W 37-21
09/30/12 at Buffalo 4 W 52-28
BLOUNT SETS TEAM MARK WITH FOUR RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS;
SECOND MOST IN NFL PLAYOFF HISTORY
LeGarrette Blount scored four rushing touchdowns, to set a Patriots franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a game (regular season or playoffs), and tallying the second most rushing touchdowns in a playoff game in NFL history. Blount’s four rushing scores trail only Ricky Watters’ five rushing touchdowns for San Francisco in the playoffs following the 1993 season in the NFL single-season playoff record book.
NFL INDIVIDUAL RECORD BOOK / MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS IN A PLAYOFF GAME
Player Rush TD Date Team Opponent
Ricky Watters 5 01/15/94 San Francisco N.Y. Giants
LeGarrette Blount 4 01/11/14 New England Indianapolis
[18 players have scored 3 rush TD in a playoff game, most recently Adrian Peterson, MIN v NO, 01/24/10]
PATRIOTS INDIVIDUAL RECORD BOOK / MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS IN ANY GAME
Includes Regular Season and Playoff Games
Player Rush TD Date Opponent
LeGarrette Blount* 4 01/11/14 Indianapolis
Corey Dillon 3 12/3/2006 Detroit
Curtis Martin 3 1/5/1997 Pittsburgh
Curtis Martin 3 11/3/1996 Miami
Mosi Tatupu 3 12/11/1983 LA Rams
Tony Collins 3 9/18/1983 NY Jets
Sam Cunningham 3 10/20/1974 Buffalo
BLOUNT TIES TEAM POSTSEASON MARK WITH 166 RUSHING YARDS;
HAS SECOND LONGEST RUSH IN TEAM PLAYOFF HISTORY
LeGarrette Blount ran for 166 yards, tying Curtis Martin for the most rushing yards in a playoff game in Patriots history. Martin also ran for 166 yards on January 5, 1997 against Pittsburgh in a divisional playoff game at Foxboro Stadium. Blount had a 73-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 36-22 lead. The 73-yard run was the second longest run in team playoff history, trailing only Martin’s 78-yard scoring run in the above-referenced game against Pittsburgh.
PATRIOTS INDIVIDUAL RECORD BOOK / MOST RUSHING YARDS IN A PLAYOFF GAME
Player Rush Yds Date Opponent
LeGarrette Blount 166 01/11/14 Indianapolis
Curtis Martin 166 01/05/97 Pittsburgh
Corey Dillon 144 01/16/05 Indianapolis
Laurence Maroney 122 01/12/08 Jacksonville
Laurence Maroney 122 01/20/08 San Diego
PATRIOTS INDIVIDUAL RECORD BOOK / LONGEST RUSH IN A PLAYOFF GAME
Player Rush Date Opponent
Curtis Martin 78t 01/05/97 Pittsburgh
LeGarrette Blount 73t 01/11/14 Indianapolis
Robert Weathers 45 01/12/86 Miami
Aaron Hernandez 43 01/14/12 Denver
PATRIOTS INDIVIDUAL RECORD BOOK / MOST PLAYOFF RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS
Player Gm Rush TD
Curtis Martin 3 5
LeGarrette Blount 1 4
Corey Dillon 8 4
PATRIOTS TIE TEAM PLAYOFF MARK WITH FOUR INTERCEPTIONS
The Patriots intercepted Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck four times, tying the team record for most interceptions in a playoff game. Alfonzo Dennard began the Patriots’ interception surge with a pick on the third play of the game, returning the ball to the Patriots’ 2-yard line and setting up the first touchdown of the game on the next play. Dont’a Hightower added an interception late in the second quarter for his first career pick. The Patriots defense kept the Colts from mounting a comeback with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, one by Jamie Collins, and then another by Dennard in the final minute to seal the game.
PATRIOTS HISTORY / MOST INTERCEPTIONS IN A PLAYOFF GAME
4 v. Indianapolis, 01/11/14
4 v. Indianapolis, 01/18/04
4 at Buffalo, 12/28/64
PATRIOTS SCORE 40+ IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
The Patriots scored 43 points, the second-highest playoff total in team history, trailing only the team’s playoff record 45 points against Denver on January 14, 2012. New England has now scored 40 or more points in the divisional round in three straight seasons, as the Patriots have advanced to their third straight AFC Championship Game.
PATRIOTS HISTORY / MOST POINTS IN A PLAYOFF GAME
45 v. Denver, 01/14/12 (W, 45-10)
43 v. Indianapolis, 01/11/14 (W, 43-22)
41 v. Houston, 01/13/13 (W, 41-28)
41 at Pittsburgh, 01/23/05 (W, 41-27)
PATRIOTS RUSHING ATTACK TOTALS 234 YARDS
The Patriots rushing attack totaled 234 yards, behind LeGarrette Blount’s franchise-record-tying 166 yards and Stevan Ridley’s 52 yards. Shane Vereen added 17 yards. The 234 rushing yards are the second most in franchise playoff history, trailing only the team’s 255 rushing yards in the 1985 AFC Championship Game at Miami.
PATRIOTS HISTORY / MOST RUSHING YARDS IN A PLAYOFF GAME
255 at Miami, 01/12/86
234 v. Indianapolis, 01/11/14
210 v. Indianapolis, 01/16/05
194 v. Pittsburgh, 01/05/97
164 at Oakland, 12/18/76
PATRIOTS ADVANCE TO THIRD STRAIGHT AFC TITLE GAME; 10th IN TEAM HISTORY
The Patriots advance to their 10th AFC Championship game and their third straight AFC Championship game with their win over Indianapolis. The Patriots are 7-2 in AFC Championship Games, including a 4-1 record at home and a 3-1 record at Gillette Stadium.
PATRIOTS AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RESULTS (7-2)
Date Round Opponent W/L Score
01/12/86 AFC Championship at Miami W 31-14
01/12/97 AFC Championship Jacksonville W 20-6
01/27/02 AFC Championship at Pittsburgh W 24-17
01/18/04 AFC Championship Indianapolis W 24-14
01/23/05 AFC Championship at Pittsburgh W 41-27
01/21/07 AFC Championship at Indianapolis L 34-38
01/20/08 AFC Championship San Diego W 21-12
01/22/12 AFC Championship Baltimore W 23-20
01/20/13 AFC Championship Baltimore L 13-28
Most Appearances in Conference Championship GAME
San Francisco 14
New England 10
St. Louis Rams 9
NFL TEAMS WITH AT LEAST THREE CONSECUTIVE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1970 MERGER
Teams Years Results
Oakland Raiders (5) 1973-1977 (1-4) L,L,L,W,L
Philadelphia Eagles (4) 2001-2004 (1-3) L,L,L,W
Buffalo Bills (4) 1990-1993 (4-0) W,W,W,W
Dallas Cowboys (4) 1970-1973 (2-2) W,W,L,L
Dallas Cowboys (4) 1992-1995 (3-1) W,W,L,W
New England Patriots (3) 2011-2013 (1-1) W,L ??
Dallas Cowboys (3) 1980-1982 (0-3) L,L,L
Green Bay Packers (3) 1995-1997 (1-2) L,W,W
Miami Dolphins (3) 1971-1973 (3-0) W,W,W
Pittsburgh Steelers (3) 1974-1976 (2-1) W,W,L
San Francisco 49ers (3) 1992-1994 (1-2) L,L,W
San Francisco 49ers (3) 1988-1990 (2-1) W,W,L
St. Louis Rams (3) 1974-1976 (0-3) L,L,L
PATRIOTS IMPROVE TO 7-1 IN DIVISIONAL GAMES AFTER A BYE WEEEK UNDER BELICHICK
The Patriots improved to a 7-1 record in Divisional Playoff game after a Bye week under Bill Belichick.
Patriots in the Divisional Playoffs after a Bye under Bill Belichick
Date Game Score W/L
01/19/02 vs. Oakland 16-13 (OT) W
01/10/04 vs. Tennessee 17-14 W
01/16/05 vs. Indianapolis 20-3 W
01/12/08 vs. Jacksonville 31-20 W
01/16/11 vs. NY Jets 21-28 L
01/14/12 vs. Denver 45-10 W
01/13/13 vs. Houston 41-28 W
01/11/14 vs. Indianapolis 43-22 W
PATRIOTS PLAY NINTH STRAIGHT HOME PLAYOFF GAME, ONE SHY OF NFL RECORD
The Patriots played their ninth consecutive playoff game at home to extend the second-longest streak of home playoff games in NFL history. If the Chargers win this weekend, New England would host the AFC Championship Game and tie the Dolphins for the most consecutive playoff games at home in league history (10).
PATRIOTS ALL-TIME IN PLAYOFF GAMES
The Patriots have compiled a 25-17 record in their 42 playoff games and their .595 playoff winning percentage is the fifth best in NFL history among teams that have played at least 15 playoff games.
ALL-TIME BEST NFL PLAYOFF RECORDS (Min. 15 Games)
TEAM W L Pct.
Baltimore Ravens................................ 14......... 7......................... .667
Green Bay Packers.............................. 30........ 19........................ .612
Pittsburgh Steelers............................... 33........ 21........................ .611
San Francisco 49ers............................. 29........ 19........................ .604
New England/Boston Patriots......... 25....... 17........................ .595
Oakland/L.A. Raiders........................... 25........ 18........................ .581
Dallas Cowboys................................... 33........ 25........................ .569
Washington Redskins........................... 23........ 18......................... .561
PATRIOTS PLAYOFF RECORD BY ROUND
First Round (1982 Strike Season).. 0-1
Wild Card Round...................... 4-3
Divisional Round.................... 11-6
AFC Championship................... 7-2
AFL Championship.................... 0-1
Super Bowl............................. 3-4
MOST POSTSEASON WINS ALL-TIME
Dallas Cowboys................... 33
Pittsburgh Steelers.............. 33
Green Bay Packers............... 30
San Francisco 49ers............. 29
New England Patriots....... 25
Oakland Raiders.................. 25
PATRIOTS IMRPOVE IN THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF ROUND
PATRIOTS DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF RESULTS (11-6)
Date Round Opponent W/L Score
01/11/14 AFC Divisional Indianapolis W 43-22
01/13/13 AFC Divisional Houston Texans W 41-28
01/14/12 AFC Divisional Denver Broncos W 45-10
01/16/11 AFC Divisional New York Jets L 21-28
01/12/08 AFC Divisional Jacksonville W 31-20
01/14/07 AFC Divisional at San Diego W 24-21
01/14/06 AFC Divisional at Denver L 13-27
01/16/05 AFC Divisional Indianapolis W 20-3
01/10/04 AFC Divisional Tennessee W 17-14
01/19/02 AFC Divisional Oakland W (ot)16-13
01/03/98 AFC Divisional at Pittsburgh L 6-7
01/05/97 AFC Divisional Pittsburgh W 28-3
01/04/87 AFC Divisional at Denver L 17-22
01/05/86 AFC Divisional at LA Raiders W 27-20
12/31/78 AFC Divisional Houston L 14-31
12/18/76 AFC Divisional at Oakland L 21-24
12/28/63 AFL Divisional at Buffalo W 26-8
BILL BELICHICK IN THE POSTSEASON
With the victory over Indianapolis, Bill Belichick collected his 19th playoff win to tie Don Shula (19) for the second-most postseason wins among head coaches, behind only Tom Landry (20) in career postseason wins.
MOST PLAYOFF WINS BY AN NFL HEAD COACH
Coach Team(s) _________Wins
Tom Landry........... Dallas Cowboys............................................... 20
Bill Belichick....... Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots.... 19
Don Shula............. Baltimore Colts, Miami Dolphins......................... 19
Joe Gibbs.............. Washington Redskins....................................... 17
Chuck Noll............. Pittsburgh Steelers........................................... 16
BEST POSTSEASON RECORDS IN NFL HISTORY
(Min. 10 games)
Head Coach Team(s) W L Pct.
Vince Lombardi GB/WAS 9 1 .900
Tom Flores Oakland 8 3 .727
Bill Walsh San Francisco 10 4 .714
Joe Gibbs WAS 17 7 .708
Bill Belichick CLE/NE 19 8 .703
Jimmy Johnson DAL/MIA 9 4 .692
John Harbaugh Baltimore 9 4 .692
MOST POSTSEASON GAMES AS A HEAD COACH
Head Coach GAMES
Tom Landry (Dallas) 36
Don Shula (Baltimore/Miami) 36
Bill Belichick (Cleveland/New England) 27
BRADY MOVES UP ON THE POSTSEASON LISTS;
FIRST EVER TO REACH 6,000 POSTSEASON PASSING YARDS
Tom Brady added on to his NFL all-time passing record in the postseason and became the first player ever to reach 6,000 passing yards in the postseason. With 198 passing yards against Indianapolis, Brady finished the game with a career total of 6,147 career playoff passing yards. Brady is third all-time on the postseason touchdown list, behind Joe Montana (45) and Brett Favre (44). Brady leads all quarterbacks with 566 postseason completions.
NFL ALL-TIME LEADERS/POSTSEASON PASSING YARDS
Player Team(s) Passing Yards
1. Tom Brady New England 6,147
2. Brett Favre Green Bay/Minnesota 5,855
3. Joe Montana San Fran./Kansas City 5,772
4. Peyton Manning Indianapolis/Denver 5,679
5. John Elway Denver 4,964
6. Dan Marino Miami 4,510
NFL ALL-TIME LEADERS/POSTSEASON COMPLETIONS
Player Team(s) Completions
1. Tom Brady New England 566
2. Brett Favre Green Bay/Minnesota 481
Peyton Manning Indianapolis/Denver 481
4. Joe Montana San Fran./Kansas City 460
NFL ALL-TIME LEADERS/POSTSEASON TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Player Team(s) Touchdowns
1. Joe Montana San Fran./Kansas City 45
2. Brett Favre Green Bay/Minnesota 44
3. Tom Brady New England 42
4. Dan Marino Miami 32
Peyton Manning Indianapolis/Denver 32
6. Kurt Warner St. Louis/Arizona 31
7. Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh 30
NFL ALL-TIME MOST PLAYOFF VICTORIES AS A STARTING QUARTERBACK
Player Team(s) Playoff Wins
Tom Brady New England 18 (18-7)
Joe Montana San Francisco/Kansas City 16 (16-7)
Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh 14 (14-5)
John Elway Denver 14 (14-7)
Brett Favre Green Bay/Minnesota 13 (13-11)
Troy Aikman Dallas 11 (11-4)
Roger Staubach Dallas 11 (11-6)
HIGHEST POSTSEASON WINNING PERCENTAGE AMONG STARTING QUARTERBACKS (Min. 15 starts)
Player Team(s) Playoff Winning Percentage
Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh 14-5 (.736)
Troy Aikman Dallas 11-4 (.733)
Tom Brady New England 18-7 (.720)
Joe Montana San Francisco/Kansas City 16-7 (.696)
BRADY SET NFL RECORD FOR MOST POSTSEASON STARTS WITH HIS 25TH
Tom Brady made his 25th start in the postseason to set the NFL mark. He was tied with Brett Favre (24) for the most starts by a quarterback in postseason play.
MOST POSTSEASON STARTS BY A QUARTERBACK
Player Team(s) Starts
1. Tom Brady New England 25
2. Brett Favre Green Bay/Minn. 24
3. Joe Montana San Fran./Kansas City 23
4. John Elway Denver 21
5. Peyton Manning Indianapolis/Denver 20
PATRIOTS AT HOME IN THE PLAYOFFS
The Patriots now have a 15-4 (.789) all time record in home playoff games. The Patriots’ .789 winning percentage at home in the postseason ranks second among teams with at least 10 home playoff games.
Postseason Home Winning PCT (Min. 10 games)
Team Record Winning Percentage
Oakland 19-5 .792
New England 15-4 .789
Buffalo 10-3 .769
Denver 13-4 .765
Washington 13-4 .765
Green Bay 16-5 .762
PATRIOTS UNDEFEATED ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT HOME IN PLAYOFFS
The Patriots improved to 6-0 all-time in Saturday night home playoff games.
PATRIOTS IN SATURDAY NIGHT HOME PLAYOFF GAMES (6-0)
01/19/02 vs. Oakland Divisional W 16-13
01/10/04 vs. Tennessee Divisional W 17-14
01/07/06 vs. Jacksonville Wild Card W 28-3
01/12/08 vs. Jacksonville Divisional W 31-20
01/14/12 vs. Denver Divisional W 45-10
01/11/14 vs. Indianapolis Divisional W 43-22
WARMEST PATRIOTS HOME PLAYOFF GAMES
The Divisional playoff game against Indianapolis was 57 degrees at kickoff, marking the warmest home playoff game in team history. The previous warmest game the game was the 2012 Divisional playoff game vs. Houston on Jan. 13, 2013 at 51 degree at kickoff.
WARMEST PATRIOTS HOME PLAYOFF GAMES
Date Opponent Tmp Weather W/L Score
01/11/14 Indianapolis 57 Rain and Wind W 43-22
01/13/13 Houston 51 Cloudy W 41-28
01/07/07 N.Y. Jets 50 Sunny W 37-16
01/05/97 Pittsburgh 46 Fog W 28-3
LEGARRETTE BLOUNT FIRST POSTSEASON CARRRY RESULTS IN A 2-YEAR TOUCHDOWN
RB Legarrette Blount scored on a 2-yard touchdown run on his first ever postseason carry. The Patriots started their first offensive drive at the 2-yard line following an interception by CB Alfonso Dennard’s interception on the third play of the game with a 27-yard return.
BLOUNT SETS RECORD FOR MOST POINTS IN AN AFC DIVISIONAL ROUND PLAYOFF GAME
LeGarrette Blount’s 24 points set a new an NFL record for most points in an AFC Divisional playoff game.
Most Points in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game, NFL History
Player Game Points
LeGarrette Blount New England vs. Indianapolis, 2013 24
Rob Gronkowski New England vs. Denver, 2011 18
Shane Vereen New England vs. Houston, 2012 18
Curtis Martin New England vs. Pittsburgh, 1996 18
Franco Harris Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo, 1974 18
Dave Casper Oakland vs. Baltimore, 1977 18
DONT’A HIGHTOWER REGISTERS FIRST NFL INTERCEPTION
LB Dont’a Hightower picked of an Andrew Luck pass with under two minutes to play in the first half to record the first interception of his NFL career.
STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI MAKES FIRST EVER NFL PUNT
K Stephen Gostkowski was forced into action as a punter in the first half after P Ryan Allen was forced out with an injury. His first punt was a 53-yarder.
BRADY COMPLETES EIGHTH 50-YARD PASS IN THE POSTSEASON
Tom Brady completed a 53-yard pass to WR Danny Amendola in the third quarter for his eighth career postseason 50-yard pass.
DENNARD HAS A PAIR OF PICKS, ONE TONE-SETTER AND ONE CLOSER
Alfonzo Dennard had two interceptions, including one early in the first quarter to set the tone for the Patriots in the game, and one late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Dennard became the seventh Patriot to have two or more interceptions in a playoff game, and trails only Ty Law’s team-playoff-record three interceptions in the 2003 AFC Championship Game. Dennard’s first interception tonight came on the third play of the game, when he picked off Andrew Luck and returned the ball 27 yards to the Colts’ 2-yard line and set up the Patriots’ first touchdown on the next play to give New England a 7-0 lead just 1:19 into the game. Then, with 44 seconds left, Dennard got his second interception to give the Patriots the ball back with the ability to run out the clock and seal the victory.
PATRIOTS HISTORY / MOST INTERCEPTIONS IN A GAME
Player INT Date Opponent
Ty Law 3 01/18/04 vs. Indianapolis
Alfonzo Dennard 2 01/11/14 vs. Indianapolis
Eugene Wilson 2 01/23/05 at Pittsburgh
Rodney Harrison 2 02/06/05 Philadelphia
Ronnie Lippett 2 01/05/86 at L.A. Raiders
Ross O’Hanley 2 12/28/63 at Buffalo
Bob Dee 2 12/28/63 at Buffalo
Danny Amendola hauled in a 16-yard reception on third down to give the Patriots a first-and-goal from the Colts’ 7-yard line, setting up LeGarrette Blount’s second touchdown run of the game two plays later that gave New England a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
Alfonzo Dennard broke up an Andrew Luck pass intended for Da’Rick Rogers in the first quarter. Dennard also broke up a Luck pass intended for LaVon Brazill in the second quarter.
Dont’a Hightower stuffed Donald Brown for no gain on second down in the second quarter, setting up a third down that Indianapolis did not convert.
Logan Ryan stopped Donald Brown for no gain in the second quarter.
Jamie Collins stopped Trent Richardson for a 1-yard loss in the third quarter.
With the Patriots holding a 29-22 lead and Indianapolis looking for a game-tying score, the Patriots came up with sacks on consecutive drives to keep Indianapolis from mounting a comeback. First, Jamie Collins sacked Andrew Luck for an 8-yard loss in the third quarter, setting up a third-and-16 that Indianapolis did not convert. Then, on the Colts’ next drive, Joe Vellano sacked Andrew Luck for a 1-yard loss on second down in the fourth quarter, setting up a third-and-10 that Indianapolis again did not convert.
Jamie Collins intercepted Andrew Luck and returned the interception 20 yards to the Colts’ 18-yard line. The pick kept momentum on the Patriots’ side after New England had scored on LeGarrette Blount’s 73-yard touchdown run gave New England a 36-22 lead. The interception was the first of the Patriots rookie’s career and was the third of the game for New England.