Takeaways: Blount and Collins come out of nowhere


Andrew Luck is the future of the National Football League, but the future isn’t here quite yet. Luck, the most polished young quarterback that we’ve seen in ages, had almost enough to knock off Tom Brady and the New England Patriots—but Indy’s magical season came to an end Saturday night with a 43-22 loss at a rainy Gillette Stadium.

LeGarrette Blount had a record day

First off, let me just say this: “I would so take Jeff Demps over LeGarrette Blount,” said no one but former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and former head coach Greg Schiano.

I think that it’s safe to say that the acquisition of Blount might end up being the steal of the 2013 NFL offseason.

Over Blount’s last two games, he has accumulated a whopping 355 yards while punching in a total of eight—yes, eight— touchdowns over his past three games. No one is running as well as Blount right now.

Coming into Saturday night’s matchup, Blount had never recorded a single rushing touchdown in his playoff career, as he simply had never appeared in a playoff game in his career. Well, that changed in a big way as the 27-year-old former Oregon Duck now has four career rushing touchdowns in the postseason.

Blount, who received a game-high 24 carries, piled up 166 yards and four touchdowns, tying former Patriot Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin for most rushing yards in a postseason game in franchise history. Blount also became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 125 yards and four touchdowns in a postseason game.

Give all the credit you want to Tom Brady, but Blount was New England’s most valuable player Saturday night.

Jamie Collins had his coming-out party

Linebacker Jamie Collins was New England’s second-round pick from this past draft and didn’t have all that much of an impact in the regular season—but his impact in New England’s first postseason game is certainly notable.

Check this out for a stat line: Three tackles, one sack, one interception, and one pass defended. You can’t get much better than that.

Collins, who spent his collegiate days at Southern Miss, entered college as a quarterback, then was moved to safety and then ultimately ended up at linebacker. He’s just that athletic.

If you re-watch Saturday’s game, you’ll notice that Collins did it all for the Patriots. He rushed the quarterback, he stopped the run, and he was even seen in coverage running stride for stride with tight end Coby Fleener.

With all the injuries that New England has suffered this season, it’s safe to expect to see a lot out of Collins moving forward into the AFC Championship game.

That’s eight AFC Championship appearances in 14 years

Just think about that for a second. That’s pretty dominant.

Out of the last 14 AFC Championships, New England has appeared in eight. That’s 57 percent.

The reign continues into 2014 as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will look to appear in their sixth Super Bowl and add a fourth ring to their total.

Like this story? Read the cover32 game recap from Saturday.

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