Patriots beat Colts, advance to AFC Championship Game

AP

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.

62 responses to “Patriots beat Colts, advance to AFC Championship Game

  1. 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.

  2. 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….

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!!!!!!

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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.

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