New England's first touchdown drive? All of one play and two yards. The sneeze of a series happened thanks to an interception of Andrew Luck by Alfonzo Dennard. It was an athletic play by a cornerback who's been struggling with knee and shoulder injuries. Dennard was dinged up enough to miss three games after New England's regular season bye week. Guess he's feeling better now. The pick, only his second of the season, was on the third play of the game.
MOST POSTSEASON PASSING YARDS
The number is 6,000 and the record belongs to Tom Brady. New England's veteran signal caller hit the mark with a 16-yard throw to Danny Amendola, completed with over seven minutes left in the first quarter. And it's not that Brady broke someone else's record when he went over -- he is the only quarterback in NFL history to have that many passing yards in the playoffs. Someone buy the man a steak dinner.
Speaking of records…. LeGarrette Blount is picking up steam at the perfect time. New England has, in recent weeks, trusted his power to punch the ball into the end zone and been rewarded for it. Blount ran in three touchdowns in the first half, all from the 2-yard line. The early effort made Saturday's game his third-straight tilt with multiple scoring runs. His 10 TD's on the year are a career-high, and his three rushing TD's in one game is a franchise best.
WEIRDEST, UGLIEST PLAY
New England really didn't have too many gaffs in the first half. The one committed by snapper Danny Aiken and punter Ryan Allen with two minutes before the break made up for that though. The Patriots attempted to kick the ball away once faced with a fourth-and-7 on their own 44-yard line. But Aiken fumbled the snap. Allen skied to try and wrangle the ball, which was just a terrible idea. He got tackled at the 1 and fumbled himself. The Colts scored a safety to cut the lead to 21-12.
BEST MAKE-UP OF MISSED OPPORTUNITY
The Patriots should have intercepted Luck on his first pass of his next drive. The QB threw deep downfield to LaVon Brazill, who was covered by Dennard with safety Devin McCourty over the top. But the defensive backs went up for the ball at the same time and collided. Neither came up with the pick. Oh well. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower got the job done when he intercepted Luck five plays later.
In terms of the normal job scope? Stephen Gostkowski. New England's kicker was forced into double-duty once Allen was sidelined (Allen injured his shoulder on the safety and his return was announced as "questionable.") And so the kicker also became the punter. Gostkowski had a solid first effort -- a 53-yard boot -- especially considering he'd never done it in a game before.
How in heaven did the Colts not score on a first-and-goal from the 4? Questionable play calling and no help from the refs. Despite having a strong-armed quarterback like Luck and a sketchy ground game, Pep Hamilton called for two straight runs. His team got just one yard out of it. Luck eventually looked to Colby Fleener on third-down and though the pass fell incomplete, it appeared a Patriot interfered by pushing Fleener in the chest. But the refs swallowed their whistles. Indy had to settle for a field goal.
The Colts probably gave people whiplash with their third quarter scoring "drive." Andrew Luck threw two incredible passes and that was all his team needed to score. The first was a 46-yard perfectly placed bomb to T.Y. Hilton. The catch was impressive, but it can't be stressed enough how beautiful Luck's pass was. The second completion was a 35-yarder by Brazill for the touchdown. Just like that, it was a one possession game.