David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports
LeGarrette Blount became the second player to run for four touchdowns in an NFL postseason game.Playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, LeGarrette Blount had 151 rush yards and two rushing touchdowns the entire season.
In the New England Patriots’ divisional playoff victory Saturday night over the Indianapolis Colts, Blount surpassed both of those numbers, making NFL history with 166 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in the 43-22 victory.
He’s just the second player in NFL postseason history to run for at least four touchdowns in a game. Ricky Watters had five for the San Francisco 49ers in a divisional playoff game in the 1993 season. No other player has had more than three, making Blount the first player in postseason history to have more than 120 rushing yards with at least four rushing touchdowns in a game.
For the game, 162 of Blount’s 166 yards came on runs inside the tackles. That’s the fifth-most by a player in a game this season, regular and postseason.
The Patriots' blocking deserves a lot of credit for the performance as well. Blount had 146 of his yards before contact, the second-most such yards for a player in a game this season. Only DeMarco Murray (149 against the Rams in Week 3) had more this year.
Blount didn't do it alone
Blount wasn’t the only Patriots running back to find the end zone. Stevan Ridley scored twice to give the Patriots six rushing touchdowns for the game, making them just the third team in NFL postseason history to reach that mark.
Before Saturday, the Patriots had never rushed for more than four touchdowns in either a regular-season or postseason game.
Patriots win without Brady TD
All the success the Patriots had running the ball meant the load was lighter on Tom Brady.
This is the fourth time that Brady has played a postseason game and not thrown for a touchdown. The Patriots are 4-0 in those games, two of them coming in 2001, Brady’s first season as a starter. The other was in the 2011 AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Scoring at least 43 points in a postseason game without a touchdown pass is a rare accomplishment; it’s now been done just three times in NFL history.
• Super Bowl XX: The Bears beat the Patriots 46-10 with four rushing touchdowns and an interception return for a touchdown.
• 1993 divisional playoffs: The 49ers beat the Giants 44-3 with no TD passes from starter Steve Young, thanks to those five Watters scores.
• Saturday: All six Patriots touchdowns come on runs.
It’s unusual that the Patriots lean this heavily on the run. The Patriots called designed rush plays on 46 of their 73 offensive snaps (63 percent) against Indianapolis -- their highest rate in any postseason game since 2001. During the regular season, the Patriots ran the ball 41.3 percent of the time, the 15th-highest rate in the NFL.