clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2014: Number 7

Our offseason countdown continues with the number 7 most memorable moment of the 2014 season.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

We're just a few short days out until the start of training camp, which means that it won't be long until we have some real, actual football news to report. As fun as summer is, it's always great when August comes around, because that means it's almost time for the season to start.

But before we get into that, we have a few more Top Moments of 2014 to get through, and we're still right in the heart of Colts Month, so let's get right to it.

The list so far:

20. Jimmy Garoppolo wins a job - and our hearts - with a spectacular preseason.
Brandon LaFell officially arrives in a Week 6 contest against the Buffalo Bills.

18. The Patriots get embarrassed on national television with a 41-14 beatdown at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Patriots sign Darrelle Revis.

Vince Wilfork and Jamie Collins help the Patriots lock up a 1st round bye against the New York Jets.

Chandler Jones blocks a Blair Walsh field goal attempt against the Minnesota Vikings to keep the momentum with the Patriots.

Rob Gronkowski officially returns to form as the Patriots destroy the Chicago Bears.

Darrelle Revis shuts down Calvin Johnson as the Patriots stomp the Lions.

Chris Jones finds redemption in the form of a last second blocked field goal against the New York Jets.
11. The Patriots avenge a Week 1 loss by obliterating the Dolphins to secure the AFC East.
Julian Edelman's catch and run helps lift the Patriots over the San Diego Chargers.

9. Danny Amendola hauls in a 19 yard touchdown catch on 3rd and goal against the Jets to secure a lead.
8. Jonas Gray rushes for 200+ yards and four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts.

Since Gray did such a great job on the ground when he got his time to shine, we're going to keep it there as we get into number 7.

7. LeGarrette Blount goes off - again - against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

There's an old saying that goes "if you don't learn from the past, you'll be doomed to repeat it." Never before has that been more true than in January of 2015, when the Colts traveled to Foxboro for the second consecutive year to take on the Patriots in the playoffs. Last year, in the divisional round, New England rolled to a 43-22 victory in which LeGarrette Blount ran for a whopping 166 yards and 4 TDs; logic dictated that the Colts would be ready for Blount this year and wouldn't allow him to bowl over them the way he had in the past. Furthermore, the Patriots had just beaten the Ravens in a game in which they pretty much abandoned the run altogether, so one could be forgiven if the assumption was that New England would need to be a little more creative than just to call Blount's number a bunch of times.

That assumption would quickly be put to rest, however, just a few minutes into the very first quarter. While New England was held to a three and out on their first possession, a botched Josh Cribbs punt return gave them the ball back at the 26 yard line. The Patriots, always quick to adapt (their first drive was two passes and a run), more or less said "screw this" and fed Blount the ball. He ran for eight yards, then two more, then another three, and then plowed into the end zone behind Cameron Fleming, who had reported as eligible (sound familiar?). Patriots 7- Colts 0.

Indy was able to drive down to the New England 33 on their next drive, but, forever clutch, Adam Vinatieri hooked the kick to keep the Colts scoreless. The Patriots got the ball back, showed a heavy run-set, and worked the playaction to perfection to get down to the Colts 5 after just five plays. At this point, it was back to Blount, who ran it four yards to the one before a beautifully called playaction to fullback James Develin put the Pats up by two scores.

New England's next drive would be the last one in which they were pass-heavy, as Tommy B was picked off by D'Qwell Jackson at the Indy 1 yard line. Andrew Luck turned that pick into six points, going 93 yards on 10 plays for what would more or less be his only good drive of the night. The Pats were able to tack on another field goal before the half ended, taking a 17-7 lead into the locker room.

New England received the third quarter kickoff, and the LeGarrette Blount Show began. Cameron Fleming did what Cameron Fleming does best - report as eligible - and Blount had a field day. Four yards. Six yards. 22 yards. Nine more. Four minutes into the third quarter, he had already posted his second career 100 yard postseason game (I can't remember when he posted his first one, or who it was against. Oh well). The running game was working so well at this point that the Colts more or less forgot that the New England left tackle used to play tight end, because nobody covered Nate Solder when he reported as eligible, caught a Brady pass off the playaction, and rumbled into the end zone for another score (I'll be getting into this play in more depth very soon, so I don't want to spoil it here). New England was up 24-7, the game was in danger of getting out of hand, and Indy needed to answer back in the worst way.

And here's what they did: incompletion, run for two yards, incompletion, punt. Three plays, two yards, 1:08 taken off the clock.

Tommy B hit Gronk on a five yard slant to cap off an eight play, 62 yard drive following the punt, and the 31-7 score pretty much put the game completely out of reach. Any prayer that Indy had of coming back was put to rest when Luck was intercepted by Darrelle Revis three plays into the next drive, a short out route intended for Hilton that Revis undercut and returned all the way to the New England 13. It took the Patriots just one play to capitalize - a Tommy B handoff to Blount for 13 yards and his second score of the day. 38-7.

At this point, with the game well in hand, it was just a matter of killing the clock. And who better to kill the clock than the man who seems quite adept at killing Indy's postseason hopes. Another four yards. Six more. An 8 yard scamper. And finally, a 2 yard off tackle run that game Blount his 3rd TD of the game and represented the final points scored on the day. At that point, it was time to let Jonas Gray take over and rest Blount for the Super Bowl. He would finish his day with 148 yards on 30 carries to go along with his hat trick of scores, which comes out to just under a 5 yards per carry average.

I think what made me rank Blount's performance so high is that it marks the second season, and second consecutive season at that, where the Patriots leaned on a running back in the playoffs to take out the Colts and that running back delivered in style. To do it twice against the same team, when that team knows the run is coming and is doing everything in their power to stop it, is pretty damn impressive. Compared to the Ravens game, which wasn't even remotely fun to watch at any point, the AFC Championship against the Colts was an absolute blast and a great positive note with which to head into the most important game of the year.

The fact that I was at this game, rain-soaked and hydrated, as the Pats completely obliterated the Colts certainly helps the cause as well.

Check out some Blount highlights from that game here.