(FOXBORO) — Legarrette Blount rushed for four touchdowns and a franchise playoff record 166 yards, leading the way for New England as the Patriots defeated Indianapolis 43-22 in the AFC Divisional round on Sunday. All six of New England’s scores came on the ground as Stevan Ridley ran for two more in the win.
Blount opened the scoring with a 2-yard run early in the first quarter before duplicating the feat six minutes later to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead. While the Colts battled throughout, New England kept their opponent at arms length for the entirety of the game. Indianapolis finally got on the board when Andrew Luck and Lavon Brazill connected for a 38-yard strike before heading into halftime trailing 21-12.
Adam Vinatieri got the Colts within a touchdown, converting his second field goal of the game, cutting the deficit to 21-15. But once again, the Patriots running attack proved too much to handle as Ridley bounded into the endzone with 6:23 remaining in the third and converted on a two-point conversion to make it a 29-15 lead.
After Brazill grabbed his second touchdown pass of the night, the Patriots pulled away in the fourth. Blount’s fourth rushing score came on a 73-yard dash following a punt before the defense picked off Luck on the ensuing drive. Ridley would eventually take it in for another score, and a 43-22 advantage.
Luck ended the game with two touchdown passes but also threw four interceptions in the loss. Tom Brady threw for just 185 yards and no scores as the Patriots rushed for 235 total yards. New England will face the winner of Sunday’s matchup between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. If the Chargers win, New England will host the AFC Championship game. Should the Broncos win, the Patriot will travel to Denver.
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John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN