FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots, spurred along by two defensive touchdowns and a special teams score, burned the Indianapolis Colts for 59-24 drubbing at Gillette Stadium, tying the franchise record for the most points it has scored in a game.
New cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown, Julian Edelman returned a a punt 68 yards for a touchdown and Alfonzo Dennard picked off another Luck pass and returned it 87 yards for a score to fuel the blowout.
Tom Brady was a sterling 24 of 35 passing for 331 yards and three touchdowns while Edelman racked up 222 all-purpose yards in the win.
Luck finished with three interceptions, throwing 27 of 50 passing for 334 yards and two touchdowns.
Rob Gronkowski caught seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He’s the first tight end in NFL history to record three straight seasons with at least 10 touchdowns.
Final: Patriots 59, Colts 24
2:17 4th quarter: Patriots 59, Colts 24 — A deflected pass from Colts QB Andrew Luck was intercepted by Patriots safety Tavon Wilson. It was Luck’s third interception of the game. Kyle Arrington tipped the pass.
3:55 4th quarter: Patriots 59, Colts 24 — Shane Vereen ran in untouched for a 4-yard touchdown as the Patriots went up by 35 points against the Colts.
With eight extra points today, Stephen Gostkowski tied a franchise record. The team tied a franchise record for most points scored with 59.
7:52 4th quarter: Patriots 52, Colts 24 — The Patriots forced a punt after a three-and-out, and Julian Edelman returned the punt 57 yards, threatening another touchdown.
9:05 4th quarter: Patriots 52, Colts 24 — Julian Edelman took a reverse and ran 47 yards before Stevan Ridley punched in a 3-yard touchdown.
Tom Brady eclipsed the 300-yard mark on the drive. He’s now tied with Dan Fouts for the sixth most 300-yard passing games in NFL history. It was a seven-play, 80-yard drive over 3:27.
Edelman’s run was the longest of his career.
12:32 4th quarter: Patriots 45, Colts 24 — Andrew Luck threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton on a quick 5-play, 2:15 drive going 74 yards.
Hilton actually fended off a Aqib Talib, who was flagged for pass interference on the play, to get loose for the touchdown. It’s a 21-point game again.
14:47 4th quarter: Patriots 45, Colts 17 — Alfonzo Dennard intercepted Colts QB Andrew Luck and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown, making it the second pick-six of the game. The last time the Patriots did that was in 2002.
Dennard went untouched on his return, with only Luck close enough to even chase him.
End of the third quarter: Patriots 38, Colts 17 — The third quarter comes to a close with the Patriots with a 21-point lead. Tom Brady has thrown for 282 yards and three touchdowns, including two to tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski has six catches for 126 yards.
3:22 3d quarter: Patriots 38, Colts 17 — Rob Ninkovich gets a strip sack on Andrew Luck, recovering the fumble. One play later, Tom Brady hits Rob Gronkowski for a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it a three-touchdown game.
Gronkowski has now become the first tight end in NFL history to record 10 touchdowns in three straight seasons.
4:53 3d quarter: Patriots 31, Colts 17 — The Patriots were forced to punt for the first time today, getting four plays in their last drive, failing to complete a third down pass to Wes Welker in the flat.
7:20 3d quarter: Patriots 31, Colts 17 — Vince Wilfork batted down his second pass of the game, forcing the Colts to punt for the second time of the game. This time, there was no return.
11:07 3d quarter: Patriots 31, Colts 17 — Tom Brady gunned a 2-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman as the Patriots opened up a 14-point lead.
Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a 31-yard pass on the drive. Gronkowski crossed the 100-yard threshold with that catch. It was a 10-play, 76-yard drive in 3:53.
It was also announced that Colts wide receiver Donnie Avery had suffered a concussion and would not return.
Chandler Jones, the Patriots defensive rookie, was not seen on the sideline after suffering an ankle injury in the first half.
15:00 3d quarter: Patriots 24, Colts 17 — The second half is underway. The Patriots have received the ball to start.
End of the 2d quarter: Patriots 24, Colts 17 — Adam Vinatieri was wide left — with plenty of distance — on a 58-yard field goal try as time expired in the second quarter.
The Patriots go into the half with a 7-point lead, having scored in all three phases of the game. The last time they did that was Oct. 4, 2010.
Tom Brady is 13 of 20 for 181 yards and a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski. Julian Edelman returned a punt 68 yards for a score and new cornerback Aqib Talib returned an interception 59 yards for a TD.
Gronkowski leads the team with four catches for 71 yards.
Colts rookie Andrew Luck is 15 of 27 for 159 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
1:58 2d quarter: Patriots 24, Colts 17 — On his second attempt today, Stephen Gostkowski made good. He connected on a 31-yard field goal as the Patriots took a seven-point lead. It was a 10-play, 62-yard drive.
5:46 2d quarter: Patriots 21, Colts 17 — Adam Vinatieri kicked a 47-yard field goal as the Colts managed to respond to the Patriots’ 14-point swing in the second quarter.
Devin McCourty made two huge plays on defense, breaking up passes to Dwayne Allen and LaVon Brazill. The latter would’ve likely been a touchdown for the Colts.
10:59 2d quarter: Patriots 21, Colts 14 — Aqib Talib has already paid off. The new Patriots cornerback intercepted a pass from Andrew Luck that was floated over the middle of the field and returned it 59 yards, criss-crossing across the field, for a touchdown as the Patriots took the lead.
Talib certainly got some nice blocks from his teammates on the play, but he showed some good return skills as well.
12:00 2d quarter: Patriots 14, Colts 14 — Julian Edelman returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. It was his third punt return for a TD in his career.
Afterward, he celebrated by pretending to reel in some fish during his end zone dance. Tie ball game.
12:14 2d quarter: Colts 14, Patriots 7 — Vince Wilfork batted down a third down pass from Andrew Luck as the Colts went three-and-out. It’s the game’s first punt.
12:30 2d quarter: Colts 14, Patriots 7 — Stephen Gostkowski missed a 37-yard field goal just slightly wide right. It snapped a streak of 11 consecutive field goals he had made in a row.
The missed field goal killed the momentum of a 12-play drive. Nate Solder was called for holding twice, but the second penalty was declined after a third-down incomplete pass to Wes Welker.
End of 1st quarter: Colts 14, Patriots 7 — That was a fast first quarter. Brady is 7 of 10 for 110 yards and a touchdown already.
1:44 1st quarter: Colts 14, Patriots 7 — Colts QB Andrew Luck threw a dart to T.Y. Hilton for a 14-yard touchdown as the Colts recaptured the lead.
Luck had a key pass to LaVon Brazill for 25 yards on the drive. He hit Brazill’s back shoulder on the pass as he was covered by Aqib Talib.
Vick Ballard also broke off a 15-yard run before Luck’s touchdown toss. It was a 10-play, 84-yard drive in 5:23.
7:07 1st quarter: Patriots 7, Colts 7 — Rob Gronkowski made his mark early in this game. He caught a three passes, including 36-yarder and a 16-yarder before catching a 4-yard touchdown to tie the game up on the Patriots’ first drive.
Gronkowski’s spike on the score almost hit the official in the end zone. It was a fast 8-play, 81-yard drive in 3:42.
10:49 1st quarter: Colts 7, Patriots 0 — The Colts got off to a fast start against the Patriots. Kyle Arrington was flagged for pass interference, giving the Colts a 1st-and-goal at the Patriots’ 6. Two plays later, Delone Carter ran in a 1-yard touchdown.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, who previously played for the Patriots, was booed by the home crowd.
It was a 7-play, 80-yard drive in 4:11.
15:00 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Colts 0 — The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred till the second half. Game on.
Pregame: We’re about to get underway here at Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts in a matchup billed as the old vs. the new. (I’m sure Tom Brady would take offense to that.)
We’ve got clear skies and cool conditions. It’s 42 degrees out. There are winds from the north, northeast coming in at 14 miles per hour. With the wind chill, it’s about 35 degrees. Perfect day for football.
Aqib Talib was announced as the starting cornerback for the Patriots, while Visanthe Shiancoe and Julian Edelman will get the start on offense.
Stay right here for updates throughout the game. I’ll be here until the final whistle.