FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Newly acquired cornerback Aqib Talib made his New England Patriots debut memorable, returning an interception 59 yards for a touchdown, and rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard returned another interception 87 yards for a score as the New England Patriots routed the Indianpolis Colts 59-24 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
The Patriots tied the franchise record with the 59 points, previously set on Oct. 18, 2009, in a 59-0 win over Tennessee.
It was the first time since the 2001 season finale, a Jan. 6, 2002, game at Carolina, that the Patriots returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Otis Smith and Ty Law did it in that game.
New England is now 7-3 with its fourth straight win. The Colts dropped to 6-4.
Julian Edelman also returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown, one of two he had on the day.
Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns, two going to tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski’s second touchdown reception, a 24-yarder late in the third quarter, gave him 10 for the season, making him the first tight end in NFL history to have three consecutive seasons of 10-plus touchdown receptions.
The Patriots trailed 14-7 when Edelman took his punt back for a touchdown, going untouched down the right sideline for the fourth punt return touchdown of his career.
On the next series, Indianapolis rookie Andrew Luck overthrew Reggie Wayne and Talib, acquired in a Nov. 1 trade with Tampa Bay, intercepted the pass. He ran right, then cut back sharply to the left and went in for the score that made it 21-14.
The Patriots would never trail again.
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