Tom Brady, LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots made a statement defeating the Colts 45-7 on Sunday night. (USA TODAY Images)
The New England Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl.¬†The Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 Sunday night, punching their ticket to Arizona.
New England dominated the game on both sides of the ball, winning their one-one-one match-ups consistently and Indy didn’t have any answers. The Patriots played one of their best all-around games of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time to this point.
Here are five key moments from Sunday’s contest. —
The Colts Blew It Early: The Pats were strong favorites heading into the contest, but Indy had some chances early¬†on in the contest. New England won the toss, deferred and gave Andrew Luck the ball to start.
The Colts offense went three-and-out, after Luck missed Dwayne Allen and Reggie Wayne on consecutive passes following a two-yard run on first down by Dan Herron.
Then the Pats took the ball, but the Colts defense made a stop and did not allow New England to get a first down. Good start for the Colts, until Josh Cribbs fumbled the ensuing punt and gave Tom Brady the ball at Indy’s 26.
Six plays later, the Pats scored the first of their six touchdowns on the evening and never looked back.
Blount Goes Off… Again: Talk about deja vu. Last year in the divisional round, the Patriots defeated the Colts 43-22 behind running back LeGarrette Blount’s 24 carries for 166 yards and four touchdowns.
On Sunday evening, Blount took control of the game yet again, carrying the ball 30 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns.
Talk about stepping up in a big spot, Blount delivered this week.
His final touchdown run late in the third quarter summed up the contest. He ran up the middle, running through two Colts defensive backs at the five yard line and still got in the end zone to put New England up 38-7. What a performance by Blount and the Pats offensive line.
Pats Were Bigger, Stronger and Better: New England has handled Indy easily the past several meetings, and some things have not changed throughout each game. For starters, the Patriots are bigger, more physical and overall more talented in the trenches.
The Patriots controlled the line of scrimmage, something they struggled with the week prior against the Baltimore Ravens, bullying their way to a lopsided victory.
The Colts struggled to get off blocks and bring down New England ball carriers Sunday, allowing the Pats to rack up 419 total yards.
Watching Indy periodically¬†during the season, twice against the Pats, it’s clear they need to add more talent and size in the trenches. Until they do that, there’s a good chance they will not get “over the hump” and take the next step, even with the talented Luck under center.
Revis Takes Away Comeback Hope: Up 31-7, after Brady found Rob Gronkowski for a touchdown, the Patriots were in good shape with 18 minutes¬†and 19 seconds¬†to play Sunday.
Still, Luck and the Colts sixth-ranked offense has shown the ability to put up points in a hurry throughout the regular season.
Four plays later, Luck was faced with a third and five, looking for his No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton to make a play on a shallow out-route.
Revis was lined up on rookie wideout, Donte Moncrief, pressing him at the snap, but recognized Hilton’s route and stepped in front of Luck’s pass. Revis returned the interception for 30 yards, setting up the offense with 13 yards to go before the end zone. The very next play,¬†as aforementioned at the top, ¬†Blount powered up the middle for the score.
A bang-bang sequence of plays for New England and Gillette Stadium went crazy.
Brady’s Curtain Call was Well-Deserved: With the Patriots minutes away from victory, many were wondering why Brady trotted back onto the field with a 38-point lead.
Bill Belichick kept Brady on the field for the team’s first play on their last fourth-quarter drive with just under four minutes to play. Brady handed the ball off to Jonas Gray and trotted to the sideline as the stadium erupted with cheers.
The standing ovation was a great touch by Belichick and well-deserved for Brady, who had a great game and beloved by his fans. Brady got the crowd going even more, fist-pumping and screaming while on the jumbotron. Great moment for Brady, the team and fans.
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Listen to our ‚ÄúPatriots 4th¬†and 2 Podcast‚ÄĚ on Blog Talk Radio as writers Russ Goldman, Steve Balestrieri¬†and I from¬†PatsFans.com¬†discuss the latest Patriots news on Wednesday.