The New England Patriots really didn’t need quarterback Tom Brady to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 on Saturday in their divisional playoff game at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. The only thing the Patriots needed was running back LeGarrette Blount, who scored 4 touchdowns and rushed for 166 yards on 24 carries. The Colts had the weapons, but their quarterback Andrew Luck had no idea how to get his passes to his receivers. He was picked off 4 times, and he threw a lot of incomplete passes that were thrown low and too high.
It was unfortunate for the Colts that they immediately found themselves trailing 14-0 in the 1st quarter, and this put them in the situation where Luck had to throw the ball a lot. It wouldn’t be a big deal if he was having a good game, but he wasn’t. Luck completed 20 of 41 passes for 331 yards with 4 interceptions.
He was picked off on the Colts opening drive of the game by Alfonzo Dennard, and he ran the ball to the Colts 2-yard line. The Patriots took advantage of the turnover by scoring on a 2-yard TD by the 250 lb. Blount. Even if they had met him at the line of scrimmage, they weren’t going to be able to tackle Blount for no gain, because he was just too big and too strong.
The Patriots led 21-12 at halftime, which wasn’t all that bad for the Colts given that they’d been dominated badly in the 1st half. In the 3rd quarter the Colts narrowed the lead to 21-15 on a 21-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. Unfortunately for the Colts, the Patriots immediately came back and scored on 3-yard TD run by running back Stevan Ridley at 6:18 of the quarter. Luck quickly drove the Colts down the field and scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass to LaVon Brazill. That made the score 29-22 in favor of the Patriots. Things were looking good for the Colts until Blount took a hand off from Tom Brady and ran 73 yards for a score. It was a nice hole, but Blount did a great job of running through it a top speed and dashing to a lot score.
The Patriots scored an insurance touchdown on a 1-yard run by Stevan Ridley with 11:12 left in the game to make it 43-22.
This win puts the Patriots in the AFC Championship game next week. They’ll be watching tomorrow’s Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers game to discover who they’ll be playing next from the winner of this game.