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.
Tom Curran calls the show to discuss the Vince Wilfork contract situation. After texting with Vince this morning, Curran says that Vince's camp is possibly trying to put the "genie back in the lamp" and that the possibility of the Pro Bowl DT returning to the team has improved.
Heath Evans of the NFL Network joins Mut and Lou to talk how Revis and Browner impact the Patriots defense, the Vince Wilfork Situation, and the arms race between Denver and New England
We talk Revis with his friend and mentor, former Patriot Ty Law.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joins Mut and Merloni to discuss and reflect on the Boston Marathon Bombings a year later.
Jackie MacMullan talks some Celtics with Mut and Merloni as the season is winding down and the team is positioned to have a high draft pick.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston joins Mut, Lou, and Christian to talk about Rajon Rondo in the booth, the rest of the Celtics losing season, and the epic battle between the Pacers and Heat.
We discuss the Red Sox early season woes with manager John Farrell, as well as his views and faith in MLB's new instant replay system, and the continuity in the Sox outfield.
Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Red Sox starting left fielder, Grady Sizemore. grady talks about what it was like to hit a home run off his old teammate, C.C. Sabathia, and his reaction to not seeing Koji on the mound in a save situation.
Steve Lyons joins Dale and Holley to talk about the Red Sox and Yankees series and Michael Pineda's sticky hand.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports joins DJ to break down the first-round matchup between the Bruins and Red Wings. Also discussed is Zdeno Chara's Norris candidacy, transparency with voting for the NHL awards and whether the Canadiens will get out of the first round.
Shawn Thornton joined the show to preview the upcoming series against the Red Wings.
2 games left in the season and the Bruins are in the driver's seat for the President's Cup which is allowing them to coast and get healthy. Pierre McGuire updates Mut and Lou on the possibility of Seidenberg's return and talks about situations elsewhere in the NHL.
Crystel called in to defend the terrorists.
Our friend Michele McPhee joined the show to discuss the latest with Kayvon.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Buster Olney joined Mut and Merloni to discuss the Lester contract offer and the trickle-down effect in the clubhouse, the defense of Xander Bogaerts, and the slow start
Andy Brickley joins Mut and Merloni to discuss the Bruins Red Wings series, a possible Seidenberg return, and the power play.
We discuss the Red Sox after our interview with John Farrell, and Dustin Pedroia in the lead-off position has become a hot topic.
We discuss the Bruins first round matchup vs the Red Wings, and why many national folks think this series could be the one to watch for an early round upset.
Nifty jumps on the Planet for an hour.
Lou Merloni did play-by-play with Joe Castiglione today and then joined The Planet Mikey Show to talk about what went wrong, and a few things that went right as the Red Sox started their campaign to defend their World Series title.
WEEI.com's Chris Price joins John Ryder and Chris Villani on Planet Mikey to discuss the signing of Revis Island
The Red Sox' High-A minor league team in Salem recently had a 16-game winning streak that spanned two seasons. So what? From the standpoint of making prospects better and fostering player development, does that matter? Salem manager Carlos Febles (who managed Salem for the end of their winning streak, but who was also in charge of a 50-87 Single-A Greenville team in 2013) and Salem radio play-by-play man Evan Lepler discuss -- while also touching on a number of prospects in search of the next Earl Weaver and Vinegar Bend Mizell.
Scott and Ben recap WrestleMania 30 and talk about the death of the Ultimate Warrior.
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Friend of the show, Brad Faxon, checks in to examine all the Masters action and to evaluate Bubba Watson's performance.More from this show