Published January 08, 2015
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was angry he couldn't solve New England's defense.
Coach Chuck Pagano was disgusted his team couldn't keep Tom Brady off the field.
The predictable result: Another blowout loss to the Patriots.
Jonas Gray rushed for a career-high 199 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns Sunday night, and Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the second half to help the surging Patriots pull away for a 42-20 victory at Indianapolis.
"It forced us to be one-dimensional. It was tough sledding," Luck said after throwing for 303 yards and two more touchdowns. "They're obviously a better team than we are."
It was another frustrating chapter in this rivalry for the Colts (6-4), who have lost five straight including three with Luck running the show.
Unlike Luck's previous two games, in which he accounted for eight turnovers by himself, this one was not his fault. Luck was 23 of 39 and extended his franchise record streak to eight straight 300-yard games. Next week, against Washington, he can tie Drew Brees' NFL record.
But this time, there were far bigger problems.
Indy rushed 17 times for 19 yards, and the defense forced just one punt all night.
"Going in, we knew we had to run and stop the run," Pagano said. "We did neither."
Gray made sure of it.
He began the day with 32 carries, 131 yards and no touchdowns in his first three NFL games this season.
He wound up with as many TDs rushing as the rest of the league combined Sunday — shocking numbers from a player coach Bill Belichick acknowledged was on the verge of being cut in training camp.
Gray's performance overshadowed a somewhat shaky first half from Brady, who was picked off twice, including deep in his own territory with 1:16 left in the second quarter.
"Whatever it takes," Brady said. "There's games that you go into and we're not sure how well we're going to run it. But when it's going well, you just want to keep giving it to them. We try to stay balanced. But if they're not going to respect the running game, then you have to keep giving it to them."
The result could have major playoff implications for the Colts (6-4), who have now lost head-to-head matchups with Denver and AFC-best New England (8-2).
Belichick followed the same tack he used in last season's 21-point playoff victory over Indy — overpowering the Colts with the run. New England rushed for 244 yards, compared to 19 yards on 17 carries for the Colts.
And Brady stuck to the plan.
He drove the Patriots 89 yards on their first possession, and Gray finished the drive with a 4-yard TD run. Brady and New England went 68 yards after Luck's interception for a 2-yard run by Gray that made it 14-3.
After Brady's second interception, Luck hooked up with Hakeem Nicks on a 10-yard TD pass to cut the halftime deficit to 14-10.
But it was all Brady and Gray after that. Gray added two more short TD runs in the second half, Brady threw TD passes to Tim Wright and Gronkowski and the Colts never seriously challenged again.
"I'll probably go home tonight, I'll probably just lay in bed and look up at the ceiling and be just astonished at what's going on," Gray said. "I'm just writing a great story, man. It's exciting."
Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri reached two milestones against his former team — scoring eight points for his 17th 100-point season, breaking a tie with Jason Elam for the most in NFL history, and becoming the fourth member of the 2,100-point club. He finished the game with 2,106 points.
NOTES: Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attended the game and expressed condolences to the family of Peter Kassig, who was beheaded by ISIS earlier in the day. Kassig's parents live in Indianapolis. ... Brady improved to 12-4 against the Colts. ... Belichick tied Curly Lambeau for the second-most consecutive non-losing seasons (14). Only Tom Landry (20) has more. ... Colts tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle) and Indy running back Ahmad Bradshaw (lower left leg) both left the game with injuries. ... Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo caught his first career TD pass.
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