As a cold rain poured down, the New England Patriots crushed the Super Bowl dreams of the Indianapolis Colts with a 45-7 victory.
The Patriots established their lead early, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. The Colts scored one touchdown in the second quarter, but after a Patriots field goal, New England still entered halftime 10 points in the lead.
A heavy storm began moving into Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots were hosting the Colts, as the home team proceeded to transform their strong lead into a commanding one. The Patriots scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and entered the final quarter leading 38-7.
Another touchdown brought them to 45 points, tying with their own postseason scoring record. Three of the game's touchdowns were scored by running back LeGarrette Blount, who ran 30 times for 148 yards.
As we noted earlier today, New England was favored to win the face-off — but the betting houses had predicted a win by a touchdown, not by dozens of points.
The win takes the team to the Super Bowl: It will be a record-setting sixth Super Bowl appearance for quarterback Tom Brady.
The Patriots will face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime earlier Sunday, in a dramatic game; the Packers held a strong lead at first, but the Seahawks rallied late in the game.
The Seahawks and the Patriots will play for the title on Feb. 1, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.