INDIANAPOLIS— This time there wasn’t one more miraculous second half comeback.
For the Colts on Saturday night, the inability to convert in the red zone (on both sides of the ball) and uncharacteristic turnovers added up to a 43-22 Divisional Round loss to the New England Patriots.
It was the Patriots making the most of every single red zone opportunity with six rushing touchdowns, five of which came inside the Colts three-yard line.
LeGarrette Blount led the Patriots ground attack with 24 carries for 166 yards and four touchdowns. Blount’s 73-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter gave New England a multiple-possession lead they would not lose the rest of the way.
The Colts once again dug themselves an early deficit and were forced to play catch up for the rest of the night.
Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard intercepted
New England’s lead would grow to 14-0 midway through the first quarter before the Colts offense came alive.
Luck threw a perfect strike to an out-and-up pattern by second-year receiver
Blount scored his third touchdown of the first half early in the second quarter to push the Patriots lead back to 14 points.
However, the Colts gained some momentum heading into halftime with a field goal and a safety.
Down 21-12, Indianapolis got a stop on the opening drive of the third quarter and another
Just like they had done virtually all evening though, the Patriots had an answer.
Running back Stevan Ridley got into the act with a three-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion from him gave New England a 29-15 lead.
The Colts would not go away easily though as Brazill once again got behind the New England secondary for a 35-yard touchdown reception.
With the lead down to seven points, the Colts offense had a pair of drives to try and tie the game but both ended without much penetration.
For the game, Luck was 20-of-41 for 331 yards, two touchdowns but set a career-high with four interceptions.
The 2014 schedule for the Colts has been announced with home games against: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Washington and New England.
Away contests are against: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, New York Giants and Denver.
FIRST QUARTER (13:41 remaining)
It was definitely not the start the Colts were hoping for as Andrew Luck was picked off by Alfonso Denanrd on the third play of the game. Dennard returned the interception to the Indianapolis two-yard line and from there, LeGarrett Blount pounded it in for the touchdown. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski made the extra point. Patriots 7, Colts 0
FIRST QUARTER (7:17 remaining)
The Colts got off to another slow start on Saturday night. After a three-and-out by the Indianapolis offense, the Patriots drove 74 yards in 10 plays with Blount scoring on another two-yard run. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady converted a pair of third-downs via pass. Gostkowski hit the extra point. Patriots 14, Colts 0
FIRST QUARTER (4:35 remaining)
Luck bounced back from a rough start with a perfect throw to LaVon Brazill for a 38-yard touchdown. A big block by
SECOND QUARTER (10:54 remaining)
It was once again LeGarette Blount on the goal line. Blount scored his third rushing touchdown of the evening, this one from three yards out. The Patriots converted three third-downs on the drive, two of which came via draws to running back Shane Vereen. Gostkowski made the extra point. Patriots 21, Colts 7
SECOND QUARTER (5:35 remaining)
The most decorated kicker in NFL postseason added to his resume with a 36-yard field goal. With T.Y. Hilton limited to just two targets so far, Luck has found seven different receivers. Coby Fleener’s 29-yard completion early in the drive pushed the Colts into Patriots territory. Patriots 21, Colts 10
SECOND QUARTER (2:18 remaining)
The weather had its first major impact on the game when Patriots long snapper Danny Aiken snapped the ball over punt Ryan Allen’s head. Allen then fumbled the ball out of the back of the end zone and the Colts recorded a safety. Patriots 21, Colts 15
THIRD QUARTER (10:55 remaining)
The momentum the Colts carried into halftime continued to start the third quarter. A three-and-out forced by the Indianapolis defense led to Vinatieri kicking a 21-yard field goal to start the second half scoring. A 40-yard diving completion by T.Y. Hilton came on a critical third-and-seven. Patriots 21, Colts 15
THIRD QUARTER (6:18 remaining)
It was back to third-down conversions for the Patriots with running back Stevan Ridley scoring a three-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal. The score was set up by a 53-yard reception to Danny Amendola. A pass interference penalty on Colts cornerback
THIRD QUARTER (5:01 remaining)
Just like we saw against Kansas City, the Colts quick strike offense was back in sync. A 46-yard completion to Hilton was the precursor to Brazill’s 35-yard touchdown catch on this drive. The speed of the second-year receivers and a pair of strikes by Andrew Luck was the difference on the three-play touchdown drive. Vinatieri hit the extra point. Patriots 29, Colts 22
FOURTH QUARTER (12:55 remaining)
After holding Blount to 3.2 yards per carry heading into the fourth quarter, the 250-pounder broke free for a 73-yard touchdown run. A well-executed block by Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins sprung Blount right up the middle. Gostkowski converted the extra point. Patriots 36, Colts 22
FOURTH QUARTER (11:12 remaining)
A costly interception by Luck set the Patriots up with great field position. From there it was back to the ground game with Ridley scoring from one-yard out for the Patriots sixth rushing touchdown of the night. It was rookie linebacker Jamie Collins who had the interception of Luck. Gostkowski connected on the extra point. Patriots 43, Colts 22