January 11, 2014

Patriots Run Over Colts: LeGarrette Blount scored four touchdowns, including a fourth quarter 73-yard scamper, and Stevan Ridley added two more to carry the New England Patriots to their third straight AFC championship game with a 43-22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night. Andrew Luck threw four interceptions.

posted by rcade to football at 08:25 PM - 37 comments

Ahem... I believe this calls for a w0o+!

posted by hincandenza at 08:30 PM on January 11

I saw last week's game so I'm not banking on anything even with a healthy 21-7 lead... but I gotta figure Belichick won't let this team leave anything in the tank until the final play.

Also, three TDs for Blount with 10:00+ left in the first half? Hes gotta be at or nearing some kind of record.

posted by hincandenza at 09:07 PM on January 11

That was a bush league snap if there ever was one. Not sure what the punter was hoping to do; don't you fall on the ball, and give the defense at least a chance to hold them to a FG?

Oof, and then the Pats muffed what looked to be an easy INT by stepping on each other's toes. Not a great few minutes for New England.

posted by hincandenza at 09:29 PM on January 11

Ryan Allen trying to compete with Marques Colston for the most brain-dead play of the day.

posted by dfleming at 09:29 PM on January 11

and Hightower makes the safety look ingenious

posted by kokaku at 09:38 PM on January 11

Oh, sorry- to clarify, fall on the ball in the end zone, give them the two, then punt them to the 50/40 and give the defence the chance? What he was doing could easily have become a TD. Although I'm wondering if he was going for a lateral/incomplete "pass" so the ball would be turned over on downs at the 50 or so.

Still, I can be happy with 21-12, better than the alternative.

posted by hincandenza at 09:48 PM on January 11

Zoltan Mesko would have fallen on that.

posted by Etrigan at 09:49 PM on January 11

What's Dierdorf thinking? Giving up 2 points and gaining a chance to put the ball back to the Colts' 30 or so is quite preferable to the probable 7 that you would give up with a Colts' 1st & goal at the 2.

By the way, nice punt, Zoltan.

posted by Howard_T at 09:54 PM on January 11

Garo Ypremian is thrilled that footage of some other kicker's Mensa moment has a good chance of displacing his Super Bowl pass attempt on the eternal special teams lowlight reel.

posted by beaverboard at 09:55 PM on January 11

Oh shit, Belichick has his hoodie off- shit's getting real!

NE looks awful so far in the third, but great work on holding them to a FG.

posted by hincandenza at 10:02 PM on January 11

Holy Christ is Andrew Luck good.

posted by jeremias at 10:24 PM on January 11

Devin McCourty needs to wake the fuck up quick. Two passes in a row he was caught flat-footed, and on the first TD he was absolutely zero help over the top.

posted by dfleming at 10:26 PM on January 11

Gostkowski is doing a pretty great job as the punter here.

posted by hincandenza at 10:36 PM on January 11

Ryan Allen trying to compete with Marques Colston for the most brain-dead play of the day.

Actually, Allen might have been trying something brilliant. If he attempted a pass and threw it incomplete, the ball goes to Indy at the original line of scrimmage.

Dan Dierdorf thinking it's better to give the ball up at your 2 than to concede a safety is strange.

posted by rcade at 10:40 PM on January 11

Gostkowski is doing a pretty great job as the punter here.

Slightly serious question: Do players get extra money for that sort of thing? For that matter, do backup guys get bonuses or bigger game checks or whatever if they play a certain number of plays due to the regular starter getting injured?

posted by Etrigan at 10:42 PM on January 11

Actually, Allen might have been trying something brilliant. If he attempted a pass and threw it incomplete, the ball goes to Indy at the original line of scrimmage.

It looked like he was doing that in the live shot, but the replays from the alternate angle showed no evidence that he was trying to do it -- he just picked it up and got hammered.

posted by Etrigan at 10:43 PM on January 11

No, they're all salaried.

Edit: Jesus, have yourself a game Le Garrette Blount!!!

posted by hincandenza at 10:44 PM on January 11

I don't know what they've been putting in Blount's cheerios, but the last two games he's been a machine.

posted by dfleming at 10:47 PM on January 11

Blount sets Pats playoff rushing TD record and is one away from tying the NFL record, last reached in 1990.

posted by kokaku at 10:47 PM on January 11

Wish they'd given it to Blount to tie the record there, but the Pats are clearly looking to spread some love and carry over into next week. Maybe Blount will get one more later.

posted by hincandenza at 11:00 PM on January 11

I'll miss Dan Dierdorf, even though he has slipped a little in the recent years. I'll probably miss his mustache the most.

posted by Bonkers at 11:20 PM on January 11

Whoa. I have never seen a team punt from the 26 before; did they not do the FG just for some bullshit "don't run up the score" reason?

I wanna see another Blount TD, and tie/set records of 5 and 7 for the team. Especially because we'll have a weird stat of "The Patriots have never lost a playoff game where Tom Brady threw 0 touchdowns."

posted by hincandenza at 11:23 PM on January 11

well, the last bit is still true - wasn't expecting that the Pats would win this without Brady throwing a TD and on a strong defensive showing

posted by kokaku at 11:29 PM on January 11

I didn't realize this was Dierdorf's last game. He was the guy who really started bringing the audience inside the line of scrimmage and calling attention to all the heroic, critical things that go on in the trenches. Viewers learned to appreciate the value of great interior line play rather than just focusing on what was happening with the football.

posted by beaverboard at 12:11 AM on January 12

I don't know what they've been putting in Blount's cheerios

Idaho Punch.

And while Dierdorf was getting some grief on the twitters, you can see that he's the reason why commentators now actually show blocking patterns on replay, when it was black magic for so long. And his years as a player are taking a pretty rough toll on him.

posted by etagloh at 12:26 AM on January 12

I always thought that Dierdorf had a fantastic sounding voice for broadcasting football. He sounded gruff, but never sounded like his mouth was full of marbles.

posted by grum@work at 12:30 AM on January 12

I am more and more of the belief that Belichick and Brady could win games with a team held together by spit and rubber bands.

posted by Joey Michaels at 01:38 AM on January 12

Apparently no one bothered to tell Dan that fantasy season's over.

posted by feloniousmonk at 03:58 AM on January 12

I play in a fantasy league of degenerates where the playoffs are the real playoffs. We keep our playoff starters and redraft with available players from eliminated teams each week. My opponent started Blount.

posted by rcade at 10:32 AM on January 12

New England scored 31 unanswered points against Denver earlier in the season. Let me also point out that the Patriots didn't just win yesterday's game; they doubled the score. I had these guys going to the SB.. and I hate Boston.

posted by phaedon at 11:08 AM on January 12

I had these guys going to the SB.. and I hate Boston.

I am a Pats fan, and for some reason I just can't get over the number of big-time injuries they've had this year and how a shoe's left to drop at some point because of it. They've reinvented themselves, both on O and D, and their power running game is exactly what they needed post-Gronk to free up some space for the receiving core they have.

Going into Denver's a whole other thing than beating them at home - this season, the Pats' road wins were against Buffalo, Atlanta, Houston and Baltimore. They lost their other 4 games and struggled to point points up against stronger teams. As such, I am cheering like mad for the Chargers because I don't like the prospect of needing to go into Denver and put up a bunch of points against that team at home.

posted by dfleming at 12:02 PM on January 12

I don't like Denver's chances against that running attack if it gets rolling. They were held to 295 yards total offense when San Diego ran for 177 yards against them and lost the game 27-20 at home.

posted by rcade at 12:11 PM on January 12

Denver has to beat San Diego first.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:05 PM on January 12

I understand the NFL is contemplating a safety rule requiring LeGarrette Blount to wear a helmet equipped with flashing lights and a triple-tone air horn. Something that large, moving that fast is flat out dangerous to would-be tacklers.

posted by Howard_T at 02:49 PM on January 12

They've reinvented themselves, both on O and D

This really has been Belichick's best season. When Mayo got hurt and for sure when Gronk got knocked out I was hoping there was a secret league rule where they'd just put up a white sheet on the sidelines and take a shotgun to the Pats' season. I don't think they're good enough to beat either NFC team*, but it's been an impressive run. Heck, with a couple more breaks their way (though the Cleveland and New Orleans games were pretty lucky breaks), they could be 14-2 and hosting this game.

* Both NFC teams have good/ great defenses with great pass rushers and mobile QBs. If Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel can turn 3rd and 12 into 1st and 10 on a regular basis against the Pats, imagine what these teams can do. The Patriots kept it close with a similar NFC team in Carolina, but that team's gone home now.

posted by yerfatma at 12:06 PM on January 13

I'm glad you acknowledged the breaks the Patriots got. They are a good team that deserves to reach the AFC championship, but this is a team that needed more breaks than some of its predecessors.

posted by rcade at 12:13 PM on January 13

You won't get any argument from me. It sounds stupid/ spoiled, but this was a tough season to watch for a team that went 12-4. It's been strange to watch the national media (usually through the busted lens of PTI) talk about the Patriots as a top contender when they look like a punch-drunk palooka hanging on to the ropes some weeks.

posted by yerfatma at 01:26 PM on January 13

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