Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - The New England Patriots blew out the
Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
But the 59-24 victory was overshadowed by reports of Patriots tight end Rob
Gronkowski having suffered a broken forearm.
Tom Brady threw two of his three touchdown passes to Gronkowski as New
England cooled off the Colts.
Brady completed 24-of-35 passes for 331 yards, while Stevan Ridley and Shane
Vereen each rushed for fourth-quarter scores in the lopsided win, the fourth
in a row for New England (7-3).
Julian Edelman had a well-rounded performance. He scored on a punt return,
caught five passes for 58 yards with one touchdown and added a 47-yard run.
"We got great contributions from all three phases of our team," said Patriots
coach Bill Belichick, who picked up career win No. 199. "The players really
stepped up and delivered some big plays throughout the game."
Andrew Luck, meanwhile, did amass 334 passing yards and connected on two
touchdowns with T.Y. Hilton. However, the Indianapolis rookie threw three
interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and lost a fumble
that led to another score.
"(I'm) disappointed in myself for committing four turnovers on my part and two
of those went for immediate touchdowns. They did a good job," said Luck, who
had his fifth 300-yard passing game, the most by a rookie in league history.
He had been tied with Peyton Manning.
The Colts (6-4), who were aiming for their fifth straight win, were helped
along on the game's opening possession by a pass interference penalty.
Defensive back Kyle Arrington was guilty of the 40-yard infraction that set
up Delone Carter's 1-yard touchdown run.
New England responded on its first drive when Brady hit Gronkowski for a 4-
yard touchdown, but Luck put Indianapolis back on top with a 14-yard scoring
strike to Hilton.
Two exceptional run-backs 61 seconds apart gave the Patriots a 21-14 lead.
After Stephen Gostkowski missed a 36-yard field goal wide right in the early
stages of the second quarter, the New England defense forced a three-and-out.
Edelman returned the ensuing punt 68 yards for a touchdown, cutting to the
near sideline and staying in bounds as he raced to the end zone.
Newcomer Aqib Talib then made his presence felt, picking off an overthrown
pass by Luck and zig-zagging across the field for a 59-yard touchdown. The
cornerback made his New England debut after being acquired from Tampa Bay on
Nov. 1. He sat out last week's win over Buffalo while completing a four-game
suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Former Patriot Adam Vinatieri capped Indy's next drive by drilling a 47-yard
field goal to a chorus of boos. Gostkowski kicked a 31-yarder before his
predecessor missed from 58 yards on the final play of the half.
Following the break, Brady capped the first drive of the third quarter with a
2-yard TD toss to Edelman.
The lead swelled to 45-17 when Luck committed turnovers on consecutive drives.
Rob Ninkovich forced and recovered a fumble at the Indianapolis 24-yard line.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Gronkowski entered the record books,
becoming the first tight end in NFL history with three straight seasons of at
least 10 TD catches.
The Colts then marched into New England territory, but the promising drive
ended when rookie corner Alfonzo Dennard picked off Luck and sprinted 87 yards
for a touchdown at the outset of the fourth quarter.
The Patriots tied the franchise record for most points scored in a game,
matching a 59-0 result against the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 18, 2009 ...
Brady has thrown at least one TD pass in 42 consecutive games, third-longest
streak in NFL history ... Brady eclipsed the 300-yard mark for the 51st time
in his career, tying Dan Fouts for sixth all-time ... Edelman became the first
Patriot to score on a punt return and catch a TD pass in the same game since
Irving Fryar during the 1985 season ... Gronkowski finished with 137 yards
on seven grabs ... Reggie Wayne had 72 yards on seven receptions and
reached 1,000 yards for the eighth time in his career, tying Marvin Harrison
for the most in Colts history ... The former AFC East rivals played each
other for the 10th straight year in the regular season ... New England
rookie defensive end Chandler Jones suffered an ankle injury in the first
quarter and did not return ... Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez missed a
third straight game with a lingering ankle injury.