Tom Brady outplays Andrew Luck, Patriots rout Colts 59-24

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The Patriots also scored on a 68-yard punt return by Julian Edelman three plays before Talib gave the Patriots the lead for good, 21-14.

“I don’t think guys panicked” after that one-two punch, Luck said. “Playing hard is not enough, as evidenced tonight.”

Brady completed 24 of 35 passes for 331 yards and no interceptions. Luck was 27 for 50 for two touchdowns and 334 yards and set an NFL record as the first rookie with five 300-yard games.

The Colts were competitive for one half. The Patriots led 24-17 heading into the third quarter.

Then the Patriots scored on passes of 2 yards to Edelman and 24 yards to Gronkowski and Dennard’s interception return.

Luck followed with a 43-yard scoring pass to T.Y. Hilton, the second of the game to the fellow rookie, But the Patriots responded with touchdown runs of 3 yards by Stevan Ridley and 4 yards by Shane Vereen.

The game began with touchdowns on the first three series: a 1-yard run by Delone Carter of the Colts, a 4-yard pass fromBrady to Gronkowski, and a 14-yard pass from Luck to Hilton.

Stephen Gostkowski then missed a 36-yard field goal attempt for the Patriots.

But their fortunes changed four plays later. Edelman brought a punt back for a touchdown for the third time in his career after the defense forced Luck into a three-and-out. And just three plays and 61 seconds after that, the Patriots scored on Talib’s touchdown to take the lead.

The catch was an easy one — Luck threw the ball high over Reggie Wayne’s head — but the run was exceptional as Talib cut from the right side of the field to the left, eluding numerous Colts.

The Patriots obtained Talib from Tampa Bay before last Sunday’s 37-31 win over Buffalo. But he sat that one out to complete a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

“A lot of plays motivated the defense,” Talib said. “About that third or fourth (Colts) series, we kind of got into it. It was kind of quiet out there early (then) we started talking.”

Former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, booed often in a stadium where he once was adored, cut the lead to 21-17 on a 47-yard field goal 5:46 before intermission.

Notes: The Patriots are 18-0 in the second half of the season starting in 2010. … Luck broke Peyton Manning’s NFL rookie record with his fifth game of at least 300 yards passing. … Wes Welker stretched his streak to 104 games with at least one reception. … Reggie Wayne tied Cris Carter’s NFL mark with 58 consecutive games with at least three catches. … Colts WR Donnie Avery left the game with a concussion. Arians had no update after the game.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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