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Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots 1/11/14 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes

Final Score: New England Patriots 43, Indianapolis Colts 22

January 11, 2014

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The Saturday nightcap for the Divisional Round in the NFL playoffs this year featured a pretty good-looking matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots. Both teams had something to prove: the Colts were out to make amends after nearly getting blown out at home against the Chiefs last week, and the Patriots needed to show the world they were still able to win in Foxboro during the postseason. For all the drama leading up to the game, however, this one was pretty much a rout.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the noteworthy names and statistical trends from the game so that we can determine exactly why things played out the way they did. Afterward, we’ll take a quick look ahead to next week.

What Happened: The scoreboard would fluctuate throughout the game, but despite how close the Colts got, New England was in control the entire time. Things started fast with a pair of first-quarter rush touchdowns from LeGarrette Blount--both from two yards out--to give the Pats a 14-0 lead. Indy would respond later on in the quarter to get within seven.
In the second, Blount posted another 2-yard run to get the edge back to 14. The Colts would respond with a field goal and a safety on a mishandled punt for a 21-12 Pats edge at the half.
After the break, the Colts found some life in the third quarter. They posted another field goal to get within six, but the Patriots would notch a 3-yard scamper from Stevan Ridley to regain control. An Andrew Luck to LaVon Brazill pass TD from 35 yards out made it 22-29 heading into the fourth.
The final frame was all New England. They extended their lead on two more rushing touchdowns--one huge 73-yard game-breaker from Blount and a 1-yarder from Ridley--to take a dominating win 43-22.
With that, the Patriots are headed to the AFC Championship, and the Colts will try to get healthy in the off-season and reload for another run.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots 1/11/14 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Stars: Are the Patriots a running team now? Blount owned this game, finishing with 24 carries for 166 yards and four touchdowns. That’s second only to Ricky Watters (five in 1994) for the most all-time in the playoffs. Ridley was great in his own right, with 53 yards and two scores.
The Patriots defense kept the Colts in check, especially on the ground. Indianapolis posted just three rushing first downs and was 6-of-15 on third downs. The four interceptions didn’t hurt either. Alfonzo Denard got two of those.

The Goats: Andrew Luck is going to get a lot of the blame here, what with his four picks and all. That’s fair, but he also didn’t get a whole lot of help. The Colts’ run game wasn’t working--Donald Brown rushed 17 times for 63 yards and the quickly fading Trent “bad trade” Richardson had three carries for just one yard.
The lack of a run game--and the inability of the Indianapolis defense to stop it--resulted in a 25:00 to 35:00 time of possession split in favor of New England.

Injuries: Pats punter Ryan Allen injured his shoulder on the safety, ceding punting duties to Stephen Gostkowski. WR Kenbrell Thompkins also had to exit early. We'll have to watch both of them in practice this week. 
For the Colts, CB Darius Butler and RB Stanley Havili both came out of the game.

Outlook: The Patriots move on to the AFC Championship, where they’ll face either the Chargers in Foxboro or the Broncos in Denver next weekend. (January 19, 3:00 PM ET on CBS.)
Suffice to say, most NFL fans (and probably the league itself) are hoping for a Brady-Manning duel.

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

 

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