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Patriots beat Colts, advance to AFC Championship Game


For the eighth time in the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era, the Patriots are heading to the AFC Championship Game.

New England kept it on the ground to beat Indianapolis on Saturday night, with LeGarrette Blount running for four touchdowns and Stevan Ridley running for two more. New England won 43-22 in a game that the Patriots controlled throughout and put out of reach in the fourth quarter.

Blount had a brilliant game, rushing for 166 yards and becoming just the second player in NFL postseason history to score more than three touchdowns in a game. (Ricky Watters of the 49ers owns the all-time record, having scored five touchdowns in a playoff game in January of 1994.)

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw some outstanding passes and showed that he’s one of the most talented young players in the NFL, but he also threw some bad passes and was intercepted four times. The Patriots’ defense frequently gave Luck trouble, and New England linebacker Jamie Collins in particular had an excellent game. It was a win in which the Patriots had plenty to be proud of on both offense and defense.

Now the Patriots will watch Sunday’s Chargers-Broncos game to find out their opponent in the AFC Championship Game. If the Chargers win, New England will host next week’s game. If the Broncos win, the Patriots will travel to Denver for the AFC Championship, and we’ll be treated to a week of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning hype.

But for all the talk about the quarterbacks, if tonight’s game was any indication, the Patriots’ AFC Championship Game plan will include a heavy dose of Brady handoffs. This was a game the Patriots won on the ground.

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62 Responses to “Patriots beat Colts, advance to AFC Championship Game”
  1. taintedlombardis says: Jan 11, 2014 11:28 PM

    Luck with 7 picks in two games. Wow.

  2. halen11 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:29 PM

    Irsay may want to change his model a little bit more if he wants more than one of “these”.

  3. rodvmunchiii says: Jan 11, 2014 11:29 PM

    If the Pats go on to win a Super Bowl will Schiano get a ring?

  4. kingofthenorth92 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:29 PM

    Patriots would’ve won anyway…but the refs completely screwed the Colts over in the third quarter. It’s obvious who the NFL wants for its conference championship match ups.

  5. flash1283 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:29 PM

    Guess the luck ran out

  6. brazzz01 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:29 PM

    Good game Colts fans and good season. Tough way to lose but the Colts will be back.

    Now someone needs to tell Mr. Luck to shave that thing….

  7. backdapack4evr says: Jan 11, 2014 11:30 PM

    As Luck would have it, Colt fans can now sit back and watch Manning!!

  8. truthfactory says: Jan 11, 2014 11:30 PM

    This is why many don’t consider Brady the “greatest” QB. This is how they were winning when they won SB’s. He threw for about 150 yds in a Superbowl win. He threw 3 INT’s in a AFC Championship game win.

    Bilicheck is what makes this engine run. Tom Brady is a good QB, but he went 1-7 at one point and the Patriots padded their lead by 14 points during that same span. He gets the credit, but in my opinion this season has been all about Bill. The Pats are 5-1 this year when Brady throws for less than 200 yds.

  9. jakec4 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:30 PM

    That first round pick for Richardson is going to hurt. The Colts need help on defense for sure. My grandma could have gone for 100 on them.

    Luck needs to not turn into some careless gunslinger.

  10. yooperman says: Jan 11, 2014 11:30 PM

    The missed tripping call ruined a good game. Instead of the Colts having the ball, NE gets the ball and scores with in a minute. Now the Colts start forcing passes because they are 2 scores down. A really didn’t care who wins this game, but that missed call changed everything.

  11. phillysports1 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:30 PM

    Chargers will win the Super Bowl .

  12. therealraider says: Jan 11, 2014 11:31 PM

    The Comeback Kid has now thrown 8 INTs in 3 career playoff games.

  13. aceakking says: Jan 11, 2014 11:31 PM

    How is tanking the 2011 season working out for you Colts? Shame on you.

  14. pastabelly says: Jan 11, 2014 11:31 PM

    They won’t run that much against Denver. What they will do depends on who they play.

  15. 92nick182govikings says: Jan 11, 2014 11:31 PM

    Andrew Luck throws way to many interceptions. Its that simple. He was lucky to win last week against the chiefs.

  16. nfl4days says: Jan 11, 2014 11:32 PM

    Luck throws three picks in a new england blowout victory in the playoffs. It’s like Peyton never left.

  17. escrimz says: Jan 11, 2014 11:32 PM

    Brady must be having a blast not worrying about constantly throwing TD passes. Every team in the playoffs can run the ball extremely well.

  18. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 11, 2014 11:32 PM

    7 interceptions for Luck in these two playoff games. He was lucky to win the first game. But his interception rate simply is not sustainable. Back to the basics for him.

  19. brooklyn40niner says: Jan 11, 2014 11:33 PM

    Bottom line: Colts are a soft team & Luck is overrated.

  20. dontcountemout says: Jan 11, 2014 11:34 PM

    Sets up a good Rivers-Brady next week!

  21. raiders85 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:34 PM

    Beat down

  22. groess says: Jan 11, 2014 11:34 PM

    There were some pretty bad calls and non calls out thee that directly affected this game in favour of the Pats. Not a fan of either team, but c’mon…

  23. tigerlilac says: Jan 11, 2014 11:36 PM

    Impressive how the Patriots can morph into different styles and win big games. The second youngest team in the league is headed to the AFC Championship game. Brady is the greatest winner in the history of the NFL with a winning percentage better than 75% and (in the words of Coach Bill Cowher) Belichick is the best coach in the history of the game.

  24. 92nick182govikings says: Jan 11, 2014 11:38 PM

    You can’t throw that many interceptions and expect to win in the playoffs. No luck for andrew luck.

  25. capegolfer says: Jan 11, 2014 11:42 PM

    Blount is a beast!

  26. ballboy48 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:43 PM

    Man…I’m glad Trent Richardson showed up this week. 3 carries, for 1 yard. He’s on track. This might have been the dumbest move in NFL history.

  27. bradygirl12 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:45 PM

    If Blount,Ridley and Vereen run the Pats straight to the Super Bowl,that’s fine with me.

  28. thefiesty1 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:49 PM

    Pats ran all over them, Brady, not so much.

  29. dickjagger says: Jan 11, 2014 11:50 PM

    Wow! Looks like the Pats could possibly win another Super Bowl! Without cheating!

  30. sdbolts says: Jan 11, 2014 11:52 PM

    Nothing like an owner saying you’re better than Peyton Manning and a GM comparing you to Michael Jordan to put a little pressure on your shoulders.

  31. cheapglazers says: Jan 11, 2014 11:53 PM

    Can’t believe the Glazers made Dominick trade Blount away.

  32. skooter519 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:54 PM

    I almost got the impression that Tom Brady was a “game manager” for the 1st time in his life lol. Great job on the defence

  33. hrjx says: Jan 11, 2014 11:55 PM

    That was two really average teams. Neither would be better than a 6 seed in the NFC this year. They’re both so depleted that they’re lucky to be were they are.

  34. achap39 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:56 PM

    Jamie Collins played like a STUD tonight. 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 hits on Luck.

    Not bad for a guy who only played 1/4 of the defensive snaps before tonight.

  35. tb12x3 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:59 PM

    over 6,000 yards and 8 conference championship games 19 playoff wins…. good god brady is insane how good he is!!!!! ludicrous!!!!guy is an all out baller!!!!!!

  36. rubenxx7 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:59 PM

    Brady not ready to pass torch to Luck. Luck n.ot ready yet

  37. vikingdoode says: Jan 12, 2014 12:03 AM

    Luck just needs little seasoning….

  38. doublezero74 says: Jan 12, 2014 12:07 AM

    Patriots win because they gameplan very we’ll and their players just do their jobs. It’s awesome and simple all a once.

  39. cmgww says: Jan 12, 2014 12:09 AM

    Luck did have some bad throws…but to blame this loss on him is myopic and ignorant. He is in his 2nd year and lost just about every offensive skill player he had…he isn’t Tom Brady who, even with the losses to his skill players, still had a great offensive line and run game. Not to mention a coach who is going to go down (chokes down vomit) as one of the best ever. Luck carried this team after the backbreaking injury to Reggie Wayne and still got them to the 2nd round. He will learn from this loss. He was pressing and trying to do too much. That is for sure, but don’t start tossing around the Manning comparisons just yet…he got them to within 7 before two questionable calls went the Pats way (hey, it happens on the road in the playoffs).

  40. bigdaddy44 says: Jan 12, 2014 12:17 AM

    There is one big takeaway for the Patriots from this game that is not being talked about. Both Talib and Dennard appear to be completely healthy. If those two hold up, the Pats have a great chance against any team in the playoffs.

  41. slaugin says: Jan 12, 2014 12:21 AM

    I’m a Pats fan but any one saying Luck is overrated is insane… This guy has No weapons around him and TY seemed hurt all game. Before he was behind center they were the worst team in the league and Indy isn’t much of a different team than they were then.

  42. patsfan1820 says: Jan 12, 2014 12:48 AM

    Heavy dose of Blount gets the job done. Brady did ok and Luck threw 3 picks and it was a badly called game for both sides and it only had 8 penalties. Colts are good but they have no o line. I hope San Diego wins tomorrow.

  43. doe22us says: Jan 12, 2014 12:58 AM

    Who said the running game was a fad, last i checked it is equally important, flinging it all over the field is nice, but nothing says i am running this rock down your throat and you cant do anything about it.

  44. tdubdizzle says: Jan 12, 2014 1:01 AM

    Besides colts fans, how many people actually expected them to win? The Patriots have a good group of Veterans and the Colts have a bunch of young guys. The Colts just didn’t have the experience to beat the Patriots.

  45. tdubdizzle says: Jan 12, 2014 1:04 AM

    The Colts are soft though, they couldn’t stop a nose bleed.

  46. tdubdizzle says: Jan 12, 2014 1:08 AM

    The Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl over the Seahawks.

  47. pats1stfan1 says: Jan 12, 2014 1:22 AM

    Wilfork, Kelly, Mayo, etc. … 16 Pro Bowls with what the Patriots have lost…

    I really wonder who the real Coach of the Year is?

  48. aceakking says: Jan 12, 2014 1:55 AM

    Dear Chiefs, this is how an NFL team protects its lead.

  49. lanman11 says: Jan 12, 2014 1:56 AM

    It looked to me like Pats punter injured his shoulder on the botched snap play. He was thrown down on that shoulder. I’m hoping it’s not a cracked collar bone.

  50. hehateme1 says: Jan 12, 2014 2:15 AM

    Colts fans, is Luck still playing like Michael Jordan? Lol.

  51. pacoltsguy says: Jan 12, 2014 3:40 AM

    The Colts will be back next year. Count on it!

  52. natelan69 says: Jan 12, 2014 4:06 AM

    Chargers fans are brimming with anticipation for a chance to do the lights out dance at midfield in foxburough next week.

  53. gunnybunny31 says: Jan 12, 2014 7:17 AM

    So sick of the Patsies making it in thanks in large part to their terrible Division.

  54. sidepull says: Jan 12, 2014 8:01 AM

    Brady is da man. Now a holder for the kicker. The guy just does whatever coach wants and weather has no effect on him. What a QB. What a great team to watch. They always appear to do more with less. They just get er done. Go Pats!

  55. bronto123 says: Jan 12, 2014 8:16 AM

    Colt are not a soft team. They just ran into a buzz saw running game.

  56. rje49 says: Jan 12, 2014 8:28 AM

    As a Patriots fan, it’s really fortunate to see a running game taking shape because Brady’s passing accuracy has really declined this year. For the past few games, I’ve watched the opposing QB’s passes look much better than Brady, whoever it was.

  57. titansbro says: Jan 12, 2014 8:31 AM

    Still can’t believe how bad Richardson has been. He wasn’t even this bad in Cleveland, in fact he was pretty good. Just goes to show how bad the Colts’ oline is at run blocking.

  58. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jan 12, 2014 8:48 AM

    I like Luck, but owner Irsay is such a goof that I enjoy seeing them lose.

  59. richwizl says: Jan 12, 2014 11:00 AM

    Two more wins ’til the parade!

  60. noah81398 says: Jan 12, 2014 12:52 PM

    Ya know I hate to reminisce on what could be, but don’t you think that now that the Pats have a found a reliable run game, that is they still had Gronk, Mayo and Wilfork that they would be virtually unstoppable?

  61. nsideindy says: Jan 12, 2014 3:57 PM

    ballboy48 says: Jan 11, 2014 11:43 PM

    Man…I’m glad Trent Richardson showed up this week. 3 carries, for 1 yard. He’s on track. This might have been the dumbest move in NFL history.
    Personally, I think the Percy Harvin trade was worse. At least Richardson wants to play.

  62. defscottyb says: Jan 12, 2014 6:18 PM

    RG3 > Luck

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