FOXBORO (WGGB) — The New England Patriots turned a close game into a blowout midway through the final quarter in their AFC Divisional Playoff match-up with the Indianapolis Colts.
And they did it in an unconventional fashion: on the ground.
Legarrette Blount had a break-out game to lead the charge for the Patriots. His 4 rushing touchdowns kept the Patriots in the lead throughout.
The biggest of his scores came in the fourth quarter, when he broke a 73-yard touchdown run, when the score was 29-22 New England.
Early on, the Patriots jumped out to a lead less than two minutes into the game. Alfonso Dennard intercepted a pass from Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, which set up a two-yard touchdown run from Blount. That put New England up 7-0.
Then, after stopping the Colts offense again, Tom Brady led a drive down the field, which Blount capped off with his second two-yard touchdown run. Patriots took a 14-0 lead.
But, Andrew Luck and the Colts would answer. Lavon Brazill caught a 38-yard-pass from Luck to cut the Patriots lead in half.
Blount responded by setting a franchise record with his third rushing touchdown of the game, to bring the Patriots lead to 21-7.
Despite the constant rain throughout the day in Foxboro, it is the warmest playoff game ever played at Gillette Stadium, measuring roughly 57 degrees.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has set an NFL record for playoff starts by a quarterback with 25. Head coach Bill Belichik is now 8-2 in the Divisional Round in his career.
The Patriots advance to face the winner of Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers.