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.
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
A caller strongly disagreed with Callahan on Indiana's RFRA law.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show by discussing the latest news on Boston 2024.
Ryan Spooner joined the show to talk about the B's turning it around as of late, how he lost the fear to make a mistake, the chemistry he's experiencing with the other young players, and more.
Since it's April Fools day, it would make sense to have Christian prank call a friend about his gun ownership.
The picked up an important win last night over the Panthers, keeping ahead of Ottawa for the 8th seed. Andy Brickley called the game last night for NESN and talks about Tuukka's performance and some other items he picked up.
Given the scope of Aaron Hernandez' admitted marijuana use that's come out of this trial, a big debate is "sparked" about how a pro athlete can possibly compete at this level with their lungs and senses impaired to such a degree... or are they impaired at all in the first place? The giant free-for-all hempfest is here.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Sox and perhaps their biggest hole in this line-up.
We wrap up the day with the best in sound that you may have missed throughout the day.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Kirk Minihane joins the show to talk about the Celtics and their chances in the playoffs and how to continue the rebuild. Michael Holley also challenges Minihane to a game of one on one.
Will Noonan joins Chris in the studio to review Wrestlemania and Raw.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Kirk's massage and crap all over Sausage.
The guys discussed the disgusting protests at the scene of Officer Moynihan's shooting.More from this show
We listen in on Adam Shefter's deflategate report on NFL Live on ESPN, and discuss when we can expect this whole mess to come to a head.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show