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Patriots stop Luck, Indianapolis in 59-24 rout
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, two old rivals, met Sunday for the first time since Peyton Manning moved on to Denver.
Star rookie Andrew Luck is now the Indianapolis quarterback, and he showed some of the special stuff he possesses, but New England pulled away and beat the Colts 59-24 in a wild one.
The Patriots tied the franchise record for points in a game.
Patriots jack-of-all-trades Julian Edelman returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown, returned another punt 49 yards, caught a touchdown pass (and made four other receptions) and ran an end-around for 47 yards. He finished with 222 all-purpose yards, but he wasn't the only star.
New England tight end Rob Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes, and Tom Brady threw for three scores. The Patriots (7-3) also returned two interceptions for scores while winning their third straight.
The Colts (6-4) saw their four-game winning streak end.
Edelman scored on a punt return and newly acquired New England cornerback Aqib Talib returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown 61 seconds apart in the second quarter, taking the Patriots from a 14-7 deficit to a 21-14 lead. New England never trailed again.
Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Brady finished 24-for-35 for 331 yards, the 51st 300-yard game of his career, tying him with Dan Fouts for sixth place on the all-time NFL list.
Luck was 27-for-50 for 334 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
his NFL rookie-record fifth game with 300-plus passing yards. He was also strip-sacked by Rob Ninkovich, who recovered the fumble.
T.Y. Hilton made two touchdown grabs for Indianapolis.
Gronkowski (seven catches, 137 yards, his ninth 100-yard game) delivered his ninth and 10th touchdown catches of the season, becoming the first tight end in NFL history with three consecutive 10-TD seasons. He is one of three Patriots with three straight 10-TD seasons.
Edelman became the first Patriot since 1985 to have a punt return and a catch for scores in the same game. New England returned two interceptions for touchdowns for the first time since 2002.
Patriots receiver Wes Welker, a question mark coming in, caught seven passes, his 104th straight game with at least one catch.
On the first possession of the game, Luck took his team 73 yards for a touchdown. Delone Carter ran it in from the 1. That started the wild day/night of scoring.