Colts at Patriots NFL playoffs live updates

Zuri Berry has updates from Gillette Stadium as the Patriots face the Colts in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. Discuss the game with Obnoxious Boston fan in the panel on right starting at game time.


Three touchdowns in the first half so far for LeGarrette Blount. (Getty Images)
by Matt Pepin, Sports Editor
LeGarrette Blount ran for a franchise record four touchdowns, Stevan Ridley added two, and the Patriots dominated the Indianapolis Colts in their AFC Divisional playoff matchup, 43-22 Saturday.

The Patriots move on to face either the Denver Broncos or San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship. 

Blount pouned in two  2-yard touchdowns in the first quarter, added a 3-yarder in the second, and then broke off a 73-yard score in the fourth quarter as the Patriots jumped all over the Colts and their quarterback Andrew Luck's four interceptions.

Blount finished with a franchise-tying 166 yards on 24 carries. 

Blount's first touchdown came after an interception by Alfonzo Dennard just 1:19 into the game. His second touchdown came after a methodic 10-play, 74-yard drive, putting the Colts in a 14-0 hole.  

Luck  went deep to get Indianapolis on the board on the team's next drive, hitting wide receiver LaVon Brazill for a 38-yard touchdown over Dennard.

But Blount was back to business not too long later. On a 14-play, 75-yard drive, Blount ran in his third 2-yard touchdown of the day.

Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri connected on a 36-yard field goal attempt with 5:35 left in the second quarter. 

An errant snap by Danny Aiken sailed over punter Ryan Allen's head, leading to a safety on the Patriots.

The Colts opened the second half with a defensive stop on the Patriots before driving down to the Patriots' 3-yard line, settling for a 21-yard Vinatieri field goal. 

Ridley ran in a 3-yard touchdown with 6:18 left in the third quarter, capping a 9-play, 88-yard drive. He added a 2-point conversion run because the team was without punter Ryan Allen, who was injured on the errant snap and safety. He is the team's holder on field goals and extra point attempts.

Ridley got his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter with 11:12 left as the Patriots capitalized on another Luck interception. 

Luck hit Brazill for a 35-yard touchdown with 5:01 left in the third quarter. Brazill beat Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory on the reception. 

In the fourth quarter, Blount bounced off one Colts defender and shot straight up field for a Patriots record fourth rushing touchdown. 

  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 9:38:41 PM
    Hello from Gillette Stadium. I'm going to be providing your live updates for tonight's game. And, beforehand, some Seahawks and Saints updates. But first, the basics.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 9:39:52 PM

    There's tarp on the field here at Gillette Stadium. It's still pouring. There is a 100 percent chance of rain for tonight's game. So dress accordingly.

  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 9:40:26 PM

    Tom Brady and Bill Belichick appear on today's gameday magazine.

  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 9:41:05 PM
    Kickoff: 8:15 p.m.

    Records: Patriots 12-4 regular season; Colts 11-5 regular season (1-0 postseason).

    TV, radio: CBS (Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf, Allie LaForce); 98.5 FM The Sports Hub (Bob Socci, Scott Zolak); Westwood One (Ian Eagle, Trent Green, Tony Boselli).
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 9:42:13 PM
    Projected starting lineups:
    Based on information distributed to the media, practice observations, and injury reports.

    Patriots offense: WR Kenbrell Thompkins, LT Nate Solder, LG Logan Mankins, C Ryan Wendell, RG Dan Connolly, RT Marcus Cannon, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, WR Julian Edelman, QB Tom Brady, RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Danny Amendola.

    Patriots defense: LE Rob Ninkovich, DT Sealver Siliga, DT Chris Jones, DE Chandler Jones, LB Dont'a Hightower, LB Dane Fletcher, LB Jamie Collins, CB Aqib Talib, CB Alfonzo Dennard, S Devin McCourty, S Steve Gregory.

    Colts offense: WR T.Y. Hilton, LT Anthony Castonzo, LG Hugh Thornton, C Samson Satale, RG Jeff Linkenbach, RT Gosder Cherilus, TE Coby Fleener, WR Da’Rick Rogers, QB Andrew Luck, FB Stanley Havili, RB Donald Brown.

    Colts defense: DE Cory Redding, NT Aubrayo Franklin, DT Ricky Jean Francois, SLB Erik Walden, MLB Kelvin Sheppard, WLB Jerrell Freeman, RUSH Robert Mathis, LCB Darius Butler, SS Antoine Bethea, FS LaRon Landry, RCB Vontae Davis.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 9:51:19 PM
    There are so many questions for the Patriots and Indianapolis Colts ahead of Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. We’re just going to dive right in and explore everything.

    1. Will the Patriots be distracted? — The news of Brandon Spikes’ tardiness during the bye week, while not high on the Richter scale of Patriots scandals, is nonetheless fodder for the fans and reporters. But has the team already moved on from the issue? That’s likely the case, given that the incident occurred eight days ago. The team has probably discussed the issue internally and may in fact by surprised by its leak. But will the surprise over the leak distract them from the task at hand Saturday evening. Not likely.

    2. Will Deion Branch be active? —There was a big hubbub this week when the Colts signed the former Patriots wide receiver. He had played parts of seven season in New England and was beloved during his tenure, especially for his chemistry with Tom Brady and his professionalism. The Colts have been dealing with injuries to their wide receivers group and had worked Branch out a few weeks ago, probably in case of losing another wideout down the stretch. He was signed after Darius Heyward-Bey hurt his hamstring against the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild card round. The Colts now have six receivers available for the game. With only a week of practice under his belt, there’s no guarantee that Branch will even be active.

    3. Will Branch be booed? — As we stated, Branch is beloved. Should he be given the chance to play in Saturday’s game, how will fans react to him playing a role on rival’s team in the playoffs? Will he get the response worthy of someone who earned a Super Bowl MVP trophy? Will his entrance to the game be ignored? (He’s wearing No. 86.) Or will he be booed as a traitor?

    4. The T.Y. Hilton problem — While still considering the Colts wide receivers, the Patriots will have quite a bit of headache in defending against the T.Y. Hilton, who scorched the Chiefs with 13 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs failed to contain Hilton in the fourth quarter, particularly on a game-winning 64-yard touchdown pass that was as egregious of a defensive error as it was a beautiful pitch and catch. The Patriots can opt to use someone like Aqib Talib against Hilton solely, but that didn’t work so well last time around. Hilton beat Talib for two touchdowns in their last meeting, including a 43-yard score in which he overcame a pass interference to still make the catch. Other viable candidates to cover Hilton include Alfonzo Dennard, Kyle Arrington (likely in the slot), and rookie Logan Ryan.

    5. How will Andrew Luck fare? — The last time the Colts quarterback played the Patriots, it was certainly a mixed bag for the then rookie. He threw for for 334 yards and two touchdowns, but added three interceptions and a fumble. Two of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns and one play after fumbling, the Patriots scored a touchdown. Luck threw three interceptions last week as well, giving the perception that he is turnover prone. But that’s far from the case. He finished the regular season with nine interceptions (two less than Brady) and his team finished with only 14 turnovers all season, a league low. How he fares in the turnover department could go a long way into determining who wins Saturday’s game.

    6. How will Dane Fletcher perform? — As this week’s candidate for the “next man up” award, Fletcher will likely fill Spikes’ shoes as the middle linebacker in running situations. He had already played in nickel and dime packages, helping in pass coverage. As someone with experience for the Patriots in 2011, the year the Patriots went to the Super Bowl, he is a viable candidate to perform well under these situations. Should we expect a 15-tackle performance? Probably not. But we should see some expanded opportunities to make plays.

    7. Blount all day? — Whether you are in the LeGarrette Blount camp or on team Stevan Ridley, there is consensus from Patriots coaches and players that both are running extremely hard right now. But Blount’s magnificent game against the Buffalo Bills legitimized his ability to be the team’s featured back. Against the Colts, a team that ranked 26th overall against the run (125.1 yards allowed per game), there should be some good opportunities for him to plow through some more tackles.

    8. How the Patriots will handle the pass rush — Robert Mathis tallied 19.5 sacks this season. The outside linebacker is best described as relentless, pursuing quarterbacks with vigor from the first snap of the ball to the play is whistled dead. He’ll be an enormous challenge for tackles Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon. But it’s not just Mathis who is disruptive. Teammates Cory Redding and Erik Walden combined for 41 quarterback hurries (just a tad higher than Mathis’s 39). The Patriots will have to be wary of everyone

    9. Who will be the X-factor? — For the Patriots offense, there’s always one player that steps up. Whether that has been Blount, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen, or Kenbrell Thompkins, at least one of the Patriots’ top weapons has been able to be effective each week. There has yet to have been a week in which the offense has been shut down. Given the Colts’ solid passing defense, including above average corners Vontae Davis and Darius Butler, and Indianapolis’ 26th run defense, there are likely opportunities for players in the running game. Both Blount and Vereen will have opportunities. Vereen could play big in the run game and passing game.

    10. How much will the wind be a factor? — First and foremost, the forecast calls for 100 percent chance of rain Saturday evening. It’ll be 47 degrees at kickoff, according to Weather.com. But what’s more important, the wind will be gusting south up to 22 miles per hour. That will have a huge influence over the kicking game. If the possibility of an overtime situation were to occur, like the Patriots’ Week 12 matchup with the Denver Broncos, some wacky calls could be made in favor of putting Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen in the best position to help the team. Against the Broncos, the Patriots elected to take the wind instead of the ball in overtime, a decision that proved to be significant in the team’s 34-31 win. Don’t be surprised if the same situation were to arise, Bill Belichick would roll the dice in the favor of his special teams unit again.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 10:16:49 PM
    Marshawn Lynch with a nice powerful run there to put the Seahawks up 13-0 over New Orleans. Looks like the early signs of a blowout.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 10:18:09 PM
    They're starting to take the tarp off at Gillette Stadium.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 10:20:07 PM
    Brees buys time but can't convert the third down. Not looking good for who dat nation.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/11/2014 10:27:59 PM

    Tonight's towel to wave, and dry off with as the rain continues here in Foxborough

  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 10:34:29 PM
    Saints turn it over on downs when they could have kicked a field goal. This is turning into a nightmare for Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Seahawks still up 13-0.
  • Matt Pepin, Sports Editor 1/11/2014 10:35:12 PM

    Players not the only ones who have their work cut out tonight. (AP photo)

  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 10:40:42 PM

    The tarp has finally been removed.

  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 10:51:31 PM
    The Seahawks appear to have lost Percy Harvin to yet another big hit.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:06:30 PM
    Weather just got worse at Gillette. Rain is pouring hard while players are warming up.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:08:13 PM
    And the weather lets up just that fast. Still pouring, but not so ugly.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:13:58 PM
    Second half underway in Seahawks-Saints game. Seattle up 16-0.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:15:23 PM
    We have a period of light rain here now in Foxboro. Players are warming up, including Chandler Jones and Ryan Allen.
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:22:31 PM
    Another sack/fumble on Drew Brees. Saints recover and forced to punt. New Orleans has 139 yards of offense in the 3Q.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/11/2014 11:33:31 PM

    Early arrivals inside Gillette

  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/11/2014 11:35:08 PM

    The Seahawks-Saints game plays on the big screen as fans file into Gillette

  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:44:41 PM
    New Orleans finally has a decent drive going. Brees with two deep passes, including a crossing route to Marques Colston.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/11/2014 11:46:53 PM
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/11/2014 11:50:59 PM
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:51:33 PM
    Patriots inactives:
    Chris Barker
    Aaron Dobson
    DJ Williams
    Jake Bequette
    Isaac Sopoaga
    Justin Green
    Steve Beauharnais

    Colts inactives:
    Josh Lenz
    Sheldon Price
    Daniel Adongo
    Khaled Holmes
    Joe Reitz
    Darrius Heyward-Bey
    Deion Branch
  • Zuri Berry 1/11/2014 11:56:49 PM
    Despite placing linebacker Brandon Spikes on injured reserve with a knee injury, the Patriots opted to sit their third middle linebacker, Steve Beauharnais, for Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

    Beauharnais is a healthy scratch. He joins Chris Barker, D.J. Williams, Jake Bequette, Justin Green, Isaac Sopoaga, and Aaron Dobson (foot) as inactive for Saturday’s game.

    Meanwhile, former Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch is a healthy scratch for Indianapolis. Along with Branch, Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), Joe Reitz, Khaled Holmes, Daniel Adongo, Sheldon Price, and Josh Lenz are all inactive for the Colts.

    Patriots Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (knee/shoulder) are both active after being listed as questionable for the game.
  • Matt Pepin, Sports Editor 1/12/2014 12:14:27 AM

    This guy knows a thing or two about kicking in bad weather. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:21:27 AM
    Shayne Graham misses a huge kick for Saints with 3:52 left in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks. Seattle leads 16-8.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 12:24:50 AM

    I've been coming to games here since Jim Plunkett was quarterback and Patriots fans continue to be the greatest.

  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 12:25:52 AM

    And the band played on while the rain poured on... from Boston... will get their name...

  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:27:35 AM
    Marshawn Lynch with the game-clinching touchdown run. Seahawks, pending PAT, go up 23-8.
  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:29:41 AM
    I hear Jay-Z. Then I see Tom Brady. It happens in this order each week.
  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:31:10 AM
    Tom Brady takes the field without a glove on his hand.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 12:33:53 AM

    Couple of confident Colts fans in the house

  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 12:34:35 AM

    Rain is not going to be a problem for the Foxborough Faithful tonight

  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 12:35:47 AM

    Did we mention it was raining cats and dogs here?

  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 12:37:39 AM

    Not everyone is wearing raincoats either

  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:41:20 AM
    That 9-yard TD pass from Drew Brees to Marques Colston sets up a possible onside kick. We'll see how it plays out. Seahawks lead 23-15.
  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:42:25 AM
    Seahawks' Golden Tate touches the ball, but can't corral it. New Orleans has the ball with less than a minute left.
  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:45:05 AM
    Wow. Forward pass on that final play by the Saints. Officials call the game. Final: Seattle 23, New Orleans 15.
  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:47:00 AM
    Alright. So we have Seattle hosting the NFC championship against the Carolina Panthers or San Francisco 49ers.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 12:55:18 AM

    Not raining at moment

  • Zuri Berry 1/12/2014 12:56:36 AM
    A little less than 20 minutes until kickoff. Weather has let up. Patriots fans filing into stadium now. More ponchos than a Clint Eastwood flick.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 1:01:14 AM

    Luck be a lady tonight sign

  • Steve Silva, Boston.com 1/12/2014 1:03:39 AM

    Here we go... Soon

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