Patriots crush Colts, to play Seahawks in Super Bowl
By Larry Fine
FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Tom Brady fired three touchdown passes and LeGarrette Blount rumbled for three more as the New England Patriots demolished the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 on Sunday to book their sixth trip to the Super Bowl in 14 years.
The Patriots head to Arizona for the Feb. 1 National Football League showcase where they will face the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, who clinched their return with a heart-pounding 28-22 overtime comeback win over the Green Bay Packers.
Seattle will be bidding to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Brady took the Patriots to consecutive titles in 2004 and 2005.
The rout gives the Patriots an eighth Super Bowl appearance, tying them with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys for the most in league history.
While the NFC championship was heavy with drama, there was no edge-of-your-seat excitement at rainy Gillette Stadium as the Patriots charged to a 14-0 first-quarter lead and never were threatened, giving coach Bill Belichick his 21st career playoff victory to break the record he shared with Tom Landry.
Brady, who had already thrown more post-season touchdowns than any quarterback, added a hat-trick to his total, hitting James Develin, Nate Solder and favorite target Rob Gronkowski to bring his career tally to 50.
"We put a lot of work in this year, worked our tails off to get to this point, it's nice to close the deal," said Brady. "We've got one more to go. I know we've had some ups and downs this year but right now we are up baby and we're going to try to stay up for one more game."
As Brady was picking apart the Colts secondary, Blount was grinding it out on the ground, rushing for 148 yards on 30 carries including touchdowns of one, 13 and two yards. Continued...