Patriots Ratchet Up Run Game, Top Colts

Running back Jonas Gray and the New England Patriots proved too much to handle Sunday night as the visitors captured a 42-20 victory over the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Patriots lifted their record to an AFC-leading 8-2. The Colts are 6-4.

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INDIANAPOLIS –Jonas Gray and the New England Patriots' running attack put a stranglehold on the game early. They never let go in a 42-20 victory over the Colts.

Gray rushed for a career-high 199 yards and four touchdowns on 38 attempts, providing a lasting image for Sunday night's national television audience.

Gray's impressive night boosted the Patriots to some resounding statistical advantages.

They outrushed the Colts by a margin of 244 yards to 19. They compiled 17 rushing first downs to the Colts' one.

New England held a time-of-possession edge of 34:21 to 25:39. The Patriots outgained the Colts in total net yards, 501 to 322. They totaled 33 first downs to Indy's 17.

"Not acceptable by any means," said Colts Coach Chuck Pagano. "They beat us soundly."

Pagano added about the Colts: "Everything's still out there for this ball club. We're 6-4. We control our own destiny. … We gotta get better. We gotta be able to run the ball, stop the run, all those types of things. Then we have to move on. We have to get past this one in a hurry and get ready for Jacksonville."

The Patriots scored six touchdowns, with five TD drives going eight plays or more. They hogged the ball for a total of 75 plays, compared to the Colts' 57.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hit 19-of-30 passes for 257 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. But any sins he committed -- and there were a few ugly throws -- could be overlooked given how the Patriots were pushing the ball downfield on the ground.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck completed 23-of-39 passes for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. But with the running game struggling, first downs and extended drives grew more and more difficult to find.

"Yeah," Luck said, "they forced us to be one-dimensional. It's tough. It's tough sledding."

Added Luck: "A lot we need to clean up and a lot of work to do as an offense to improve on this performance."

Colts tight end Coby Fleener caught seven passes for a career-high 144 yards. Reggie Wayne had five receptions for 91 yards.

SCORING RECAP

FIRST QUARTER (8:37 remaining)

The Patriots used an impressive ground attack to get on the scoreboard first. Of the visitors' 11 plays on an 89-yard touchdown march, six were rushing calls that went for a total of 77 yards. Jonas Gray scored the TD from four yards out. Stephen Gostkowski connected on the extra point.Patriots 7, Colts 0.

FIRST QUARTER (4:19 remaining)

Three straight pass completions from Andrew Luck to Reggie Wayne, good for a total of 70 yards, carried Indy to the Patriots' 15-yard line. But the drive stalled there and the Colts called for Adam Vinatieri and a field goal. Vinatieri hit a 31-yarder against his former team, giving him a 21-of-21 mark for the season.Patriots 7, Colts 3.

SECOND QUARTER (3:50 remaining)

Two big pass plays, both for third-down conversions, set up the Patriots for another touchdown. First, Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 20 yards. Then, five plays later, Brady found Julian Edelman for a 13-yard gain. The Patriots completed the 11-play scoring march with a two-yard touchdown by Gray, his second of the game. Gostkowski hit the extra point.Patriots 14, Colts 3.

SECOND QUARTER (55 seconds remaining)

Safety Mike Adams set up the Colts just before halftime with his second interception of the game. On third-and-one at the New England 17-yard line, Brady tried to fool the Colts with a play-action pass that he lobbed too far over the head of Gronkowski. Adams' interception put the Colts at the 23. Luck connected with T.Y. Hilton for 13 yards. Luck then targeted Hakeem Nicks in the end zone, and Nicks made a nice, over-the-shoulder catch for the 10-yard score. Vinatieri hit the extra point.Patriots 14, Colts 10.

THIRD QUARTER (11:10 remaining)

The Patriots returned from halftime and immediately churned out an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Brady's pass plays to Shane Vereen for 39 yards and Brandon LaFell for 14 got the march flowing. Then Gray ran for 25 yards on four carries. Brady threw a two-yard pass to Tim Wright for the score. Gostkowski booted the extra point. Patriots 21, Colts 10.

THIRD QUARTER (8:31 remaining)

Vinatieri's 22nd straight successful field goal this season pulled the Colts closer. Vinatieri hit this one from 53 yards. A 16-yard pass play, Luck to Wayne, was the drive's big play. Patriots 21, Colts 13.

THIRD QUARTER (3:30 remaining)

Another lengthy scoring drive, this one 10 plays and 80 yards, stretched the Patriots' lead. Brady hit LaFell with a 26-yard completion to get things going. Brady then passed 16 yards to Gronkowski and 14 to Vereen. Gray bolted over from two yards out for his third TD of the game. Gostkowski added the extra point. Patriots 28, Colts 13.

FOURTH QUARTER (13:32 remaining)

The Colts sliced their deficit to eight points with an 11-play, 80-yard march highlighted by 45-yard and 22-yard pass receptions by Coby Fleener. The touchdown went to starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo on a one-yard pass. Gostkowski hit the extra point. Patriots 28, Colts 20.

FOURTH QUARTER (8:43 remaining)

Brady's passes of 14 yards to Edelman and 22 to LaFell put the Patriots in position to use their running game again. Gray took over from there, carrying six times, including for a one-yard touchdown. It was Gray's fourth TD of the game. Gostkowski added the extra point. Patriots 35, Colts 20.

FOURTH QUARTER (6:46 remaining)

Gronkowski got into the scoring act with a 26-yard catch and run, on which he broke three tackles. The Patriots enjoyed a short field, taking over at the Colts' 32 after Indy chose not to punt and failed to convert on a fourth-and-10 situation. Gostkowski hit the extra point.Patriots 42, Colts 20.

Photos from the Sunday Night Football game against New England.

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