FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski caught a pair of touchdowns, Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard returned interceptions for TDs, and Tom Brady threw for 300 yards for the 51st time in his career as the Patriots mauled Andrew Luck and the Colts, 59-24, at Gillette Stadium. It marked the second time this season that the Patriots reached the 50-point mark in a game, as the Pats improved upon their NFL-best scoring average. Brady finished 24-of-35 for 331 yards and three touchdowns and a rating of 126.7. Luck was not sharp, with several tipped passes over the middle, finishing 27-of-49 for 334 yards with three interceptions. It was the fifth time Luck went over 300 yards this season, the most by any rookie in NFL history.
The 59 points matched the franchise record 59-point game in a shutout win over the Titans on Oct. 18, 2009. Julian Edelman was also huge, returning a punt 68 yards for a game-tying touchdown, breaking a 47-yard run and recording five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Gronkowski finished with seven catches on seven targets for 137 yards.
The Colts went up 7-0 when they took the game-opening drive and marched down the field 80 yards in seven plays. The key play was a pass interference call on Kyle Arrington on a deep post route by Donnie Avery. Arrington was benched in the second quarter as Alfonzo Dennard and Marquice Cole picked up the slack. The 40-yard penalty set the Colts up at the Patriots' 6. Two plays later, Delon Carter took it in from one yard for the game's first score.
Brady responded immediately, hooking up with Gronkowski three times for 56 yards, including a 36-yarder to the Colts' 23 and a 4-yard touchdown pass that tied the game, 7-7. It was Brady's 42nd consecutive game with at least one touchdown pass, third-most in NFL history. It was also Gronkowski's 36th TD, matching John Jefferson for the most in NFL history through his first three seasons. He would pass Jefferson in the third quarter.
The Colts came back to take the lead on a Luck-to-T.Y. Hilton connection in the back of the end zone, as Hilton slid while making the grab, with Talib trailing the play. The momentum then appeared to be going against the Patriots when Stephen Gostkowski missed a 34-yard field goal wide right.
But things changed drastically thanks to two big returns in the second quarter. Edelman took a low punt from Pat McAfee at the New England 32 and raced up the right sideline to take it in for the score. With the game tied, 14-14, Luck overthrew a wide open Reggie Wayne on the next series and Talib, playing behind Wayne, picked it off and ran toward the Patriots sideline before cutting back and following a pair of blocks to get into the end zone, giving the Patriots the lead, 21-14.
With the crowd booing Adam Vinatieri, he connected on a 47-yard field goal to bring the Colts within four, 21-17. Gostkowski connected on a 31-yard field goal to make it a seven-point game again. Vinatieri missed wide left on a 58-yard field goal attempt at the halftime gun as the Patriots took a 24-17 lead to the locker room for the second straight week.
The Patriots took the opening drive of the second half and marched 76 yards as Brady hit Gronkowski for a 31-yard completion to the Colts' 23. The drive was capped when Brady hit Edelman in the end zone for a 4-yard TD. Brady made it a 38-17 game when he found Gronkowski from 23 yards out, one play after Rob Ninkovich strip-sacked Luck and recovered the fumble. Alfonzo Dennard jumped in front of a pass intended for Wayne and ran it back 87 yards for the second pick-six of the day, the first time since 2002 the Patriots have accomplished the feat.
The Patriots now are a combined 18-0 in the second half of the season dating back to the season finale in 2009, when they lost at Houston. The Patriots improve to 7-3 on the season and have a very short week before taking on the 4-6 Jets on Thanksgiving night at MetLife Stadium.
The win was tempered by a report that Gronkowski, who left in the fourth quarter, has a broken forearm. Rookie defensive end Chandler Jones injured his right ankle and did not return after leaving in the first half.
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Rob Bradford talks with both Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes, and assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister, about the fascinating project the reliever undertook in the final month of 2016. Barnes explains how he, with the help of others, made a concerted effort to emulate Dellin Betances of the Yankees and how that exercise helped turn around the former No. 1 pick's season.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Red Sox broadcaster Dave O'Brien joins the show.
Hour 3. The guys take more calls on transgender bathrooms. Evan Drellich joins the show...again.
Dino reunites with the guys at spring training.
Max Kellerman rips Pats fans. Skip Bayless says Bill Belichick is "good, not great." And Dan Le Batard feels the heat from Keyshawn Johnson regarding his criticisms of Magic Johnson.
It took a few hours, but Glenn finally starts to agree with Lou and Mut about Danny Ainge.
Obviously the Celtics aren't expected to overtake the Cavs in the East, but the guys wonder if the team is trying to get a little bit better each year, or hold onto their assets until LeBron is over the hill.
We spoke with Danny Ainge and discussed all aspects of the Celtics, trading deadline, playoffs and beyond.
We close out Freestyle Friday with more Pats, Sox and Celtics talk.
We continue freestyle Friday with Brady and Jimmy G trade talk, plus more on the Celtics and the Vancouver Canucks have the mumps!
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap Wednesday and Thursday's K&C shows on location in Ft. Myers
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be.
Dino reunites with the guys at spring training.More from this show
Hour 1. Kirk and Gerry's final day from spring training. Le Batard made comments about Magic Johnson. Curtis attacked the afternoon show.More from this show
Hour 4. Red Sox broadcaster Dave O'Brien joins the show.More from this show