FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots won by three touchdowns and advanced to their third AFC Championship game in three years. Sure, the Colts showed some spunk for a while. Sure, the team that had staged the second greatest comeback in NFL playoff history last weekend showed some spine on this Saturday night.
Yet as the second half wore on, the Colts also showed that they were no match for the indomitable machine known as Tom Br.
The Colts were no match for the Patriots’ running game. They were no match for LeGarrette Blount.
It’s like Colts coach Chuck Pagano told ESPN’s Bob Holtzman the other day. Pagano said that tackling Blount is like trying to take down a “greased pig at the county fair.” True enough. And by the time Blount had finished with the greatest running performance in franchise postseason history, Patriots fans were better sated than kids who had stuffed their bellies full with cotton candy and fried dough.
The Patriots have suddenly turned into the 1963 Cleveland Browns with Jim Brown.
“The plan is to move the ball and score,” Belichick said. “Whatever the best way we’ll do that.”
And so in the relative warmth of the 50s, and in an occasional driving rain, the Patriots rammed it down the Colts’ throat.
Yes, for the second game, and with great fanfare, it was a matter of Blount-force trauma.
Blount set the Patriots playoff record of four rushing touchdowns in one playoff game. He tied Curtis Martin’s 166-yard rushing performance of 1997. The most rushing touchdowns that the Patriots ever scored in a playoff game had been three. They got six on this night, the most in a Patriots game, regular season or postseason. The NFL playoff record is seven.
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