Thursday, April 24, 2014
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.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman celebrates his touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The Associated Press
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.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: