FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have scored some unlikely touchdowns in the playoffs this year. None more unlikely than Nate Solder’s 16-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in Sunday night’s 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots were leading 17-7 early in the third quarter and faced a third-and-1 from the Colts’ 16. Solder, the starting left tackle for the Patriots, reported in as an eligible receiver. When the ball was snapped, he faked a block then floated into the left flat, where Brady lofted a high pass to him.

Solder, a tight end in his freshman year at Colorado, caught the ball, turned and rumbled in for the touchdown that rattled the Colts for good.

“Great play,” said Solder. “It was called at the right moment. The stars were aligned. It was awesome.”

Solder said the team has practiced it for years. After last week’s divisional win over Baltimore, when the Patriots scored on a pass from one wide receiver to another and used a formation with only four offensive linemen, he figured more trickery might be in order for the Colts.

“I was told that anything could happen, to be ready,” he said.

But when it was actually happening?

“Catch the ball and hold on,” he said.

And when he turned and saw nothing but green turf between him and the end zone?

“I had blinders on at that moment,” he said. “I went straight ahead. I blacked out. I don’t remember half of it.”

The Colts do. “We didn’t cover him,” said Coach Chuck Pagano. “We didn’t line up right and didn’t cover him.”

Brady, who threw three touchdown passes, said, “We thought it would work. It was a great time. Josh (McDaniels, the offensive coordinator) called it. Nate made a great catch.”

RECORD SETTERS: The Patriots set a number of records Sunday.

 The Patriots will be making their eighth trip to the Super Bowl, tying Pittsburgh and Dallas for most conference championships in NFL history.

 Bill Belichick won his 21st postseason game as head coach, setting an NFL record, and tied Don Shula for most conference championships (six) by a head coach.

 Brady won his sixth conference championship, passing John Elway (five) for most by a quarterback.

 Brady will set a Super Bowl record with his sixth start, and tie defensive tackle Mike Lodish for most Super Bowl appearances by a player.

FULLBACK JAMES DEVELIN scored on a 1-yard pass from Brady in the first quarter, shrugging off a tackle from D’Qwell Jackson and falling into the end zone. As a product of nearby Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, he feels a special bond to this region.

“It’s definitely surreal,” said Develin, who grew up in Pennsylvania. “I’m proud to kind of say I’m a New Englander now.”

SEVENTEEN PATRIOTS have Super Bowl experience. In addition to Brady, Vince Wilfork will be playing in his fourth, Stephen Gostkowski his third. All others will be making their second appearance in the championship game.

THERE’S SOME money at stake in these championship games as well. Players from all four teams involved will each receive $44,000 for participating in the game.

The cash gets higher in the Super Bowl too. The winning players there will receive $97,000 while players on the Super Bowl’s losing team will receive $49,000.

And for you history buffs: the first AFC championship game was played on New Year’s Day 1961 with the Houston Oilers beating the Los Angeles Chargers 24-16. Players on the Oilers received $1,025 for winning, the Chargers each received $718.