- American Football
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- Rob Gronkowski
- Andrew Luck
Super Bowl 50 on Yahoo Sports:
By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange November 18, 2012 10:10 PM
Rob Gronkowski.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Patriots won another game Sunday, but may have lost star tight end
Gronkowski, who scored two touchdowns in the 59-24 win over the Colts to become the first tight end ever with three straight 10-TD seasons, suffered, according to multiple sources, a broken forearm blocking for the final extra point of the game. He apparently was not in the game for the drive, but entered for the kick. There was no official word on how long he'll be out, but there were reports he'd be sidelined 4-6 weeks. Obviously, a prolonged loss of Gronkowski would be a blow to a team that has won four straight to get to 7-3 and is already dealing with the week-to-week absence of tight end Aaron Hernandez with an ankle sprain. As far as the game itself, rookie Andrew Luck joined the Colts rivalry with the Patriots as the old friends met for the first time since Peyton Manning moved on to Denver. Luck was very sharp early and had his NFL rookie-record fifth 300-yard game of the season. But he made mistakes and the Patriots wound up making the big plays and exploding to the win. "That was awesome. That was a fun day. Team win," Tom Brady said after throwing three touchdown passes in his 51st 300-yard game, and before word surfaced of the Gronkowski injury. "We got contributions from all three units, and they're 6-3 and we knew our mental toughness would be tested and I thought our guys responded." Jack-of-all-trades Julian Edelman returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown, returned another punt 49 yards, caught a touchdown pass (and four other passes) and ran an end-around for 47 yards for 222 yards of total offense. But he wasn't the only star. Gronkowski caught the two TD passes and New England returned two intercepted Luck passes for scores as the Colts fell to 6-4 and their four-game winning streak ended. "I had some opportunities to make some plays and was fortunate that it went my way today ... it was a good team win and we have a short week now and we have got to move on for the Jets," said Edelman. New England tied the franchise record for points in a game. The Patriots, who ran the table in the second half of the last two seasons, made it 2-0 in the 2012 second half as they head to New Jersey to play the Jets in a Thanksgiving Night game. Edelman scored his punt return touchdown and newly acquired cornerback Aqib Talib returned an interception 59 yards for a TD 61 seconds apart in the second quarter. That took the Patriots from a 14-7 deficit to a 21-14 lead. They never trailed again. Alfonzo Dennard returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving the Pats two interception returns for touchdowns in a game for the first time since 2002. Brady, playing behind an offensive line that was stellar even without two injured starters, was 24-for-35 for 331 yards and tied Dan Fouts for sixth place on the all-time NFL 300-yard-game list. Luck, who was 6-for-7 in the first quarter, finished 27-for-50 for 334 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, his NFL rookie-record fifth time over 300 yards. He was also strip-sacked by Bob Ninkovich, who recovered the fumble. "I'm disappointed in myself for committing four turnovers on my part and two of those went for immediate touchdowns," Luck said. "They did a good job." T.Y. Hilton had two touchdown grabs for the Colts. "It started off pretty good. All of the things we said we needed to do to beat this team, we didn't do," said safety Antoine Bethea. Gronkowski had seven catches for 137 yards, his ninth 100-yard game. He is one of three Patriots with three straight 10-TD seasons. Edelman became the first Patriot since 1985 to have a punt return and a catch for scores in the same game. The Pats had two interceptions for touchdowns for the first time since 2002. Wes Welker, questionable coming in with an ankle problem, had seven catches, in his 104th straight game with at least one. Talib, playing his first game after a four-game drug suspension, had a tough time in coverage and looked rusty, but had the good fortune of having Luck throw the ball right to him before the nifty run. "A lot of fun, man," he said. "Executing all three phases of the game. Won the game [and] had a lot of fun out there." NOTES: Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri, a former New England hero, was booed every time he kicked Sunday. ... Patriots coach Bill Belichick goes for his 200th coaching win Thursday night. ... Reggie Wayne, the NFL receiving leader coming in, caught seven passes, giving him 58 straight games with three or more catches and tying him with Chris Carter for the NFL record. He also went over 1,000 yards for the season, the eighth time that's happened. ... Brady threw a TD pass for his 42nd straight regular season game, the third-best streak of all-time. ... Indy's Donnie Avery left with a concussion and Cory Redding with a hip injury, while the Patriots lost rookie Chandler Jones to an ankle injury. ... The Colts host Buffalo Sunday. ... The Patriots were again missing tight end Hernandez (ankle), while offensive linemen Logan Mankins and Dan Connelly and safety Patrick Chung were also out. Colts rookie nose tackle Josh Chapman, still waiting to make his NFL debut, was again scratched. ... Luck, talking about growing up watching Manning face Brady, said, "I was a younger quarterback (and) you always tried to watch that game just because the two were sort of benchmarks for the position. I remember some of the playoff games, some of the late games."... Diplomat Henry Kissinger was on the field before the game. ... Belichick was seen having a lacrosse "catch" on the field an hour after the game. He was a college lacrosse captain at Wesleyan University.