FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It was another rainy January evening and another splashy performance by LeGarrette Blount.

The New England running back left his cleat marks all over the Indianapolis Colts again Sunday, carrying the ball 30 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns to help the Patriots advance to the Super Bowl with a 45-7 victory at Gillette Stadium.

Last year, Blount gouged the Colts for 166 yards and four scores in a divisional-round playoff win in Foxborough. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the offseason but was benched and then eventually cut on Nov. 18, and a few days later he wound up a Patriot again.

“It’s the best,” Blount said after setting a New England postseason record with seven rushing touchdowns, all in two games against Indianapolis. “It’s just a real close-knit family here and you can’t beat that. That’s what you need to win games.”

“We love LeGarrette whether he has 250 yards or five yards. He’s a great player, a great teammate. He’s accepted around here and everybody loves him,” fellow running back Shane Vereen said. “I wouldn’t want to tackle him.”

To be fair, Blount isn’t the only New England running back who has salivated at the prospect of facing the Colts’ defense. In Blount’s absence during the regular season, Jonas Gray romped for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a Week 11 victory at Indianapolis.

But Gray was relegated to the sideline Sunday as Blount went to work, setting a Patriots’ postseason record with 30 carries.

“My offensive line played amazing. I probably should have had more yards than I did. I probably missed a couple of holes,” Blount said.

“Once the offensive line did their job, you have to do whatever you have to do to make yards in the open field.”

Blount’s touchdowns were 1, 13 and 2 yards. He burrowed through would-be tacklers all evening.

“You have to tackle and you have to wrap up regardless of the atmosphere and the situations,” Colts defensive end Cory Redding said.

“It’s tough to win when you get away from that and not get the job done.”

In addition to his touchdowns, Blount picked up six first downs as New England dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 37 minutes, 49 seconds. He said he found his groove early and kept plowing ahead.

“It takes every running back a few carries to get into a rhythm and (the offensive line) allowed me to do that,” Blount said. “It has nothing to do with the Colts, it’s just the offensive line.”

Center Ryan Wendell returned the compliment.

“A lot of those yards LeGarrette got on his own, so I can’t say enough about that guy,” Wendell said before praising the opponent that his team had just run into the ground. “They’re a great football team. There’s a reason they were in this game,” he said, “and we’re going to be seeing them every year.”

Somewhere, Blount was smiling about that prospect.