Seahawks 23 – Saints 15 – Seattle proved that their week thirteen domination of New Orleans was no fluke as they pummeled the Saints at home for the second time this season. Despite a furious comeback in the game’s final minutes, New Orleans’ potent offense was unable to get on track for much of the day, meanwhile the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch bulldozed his way to a team postseason record 140 yards on 28 carries and added two scores.
Seattle was up a pair of FGs when Lynch rumbled his way fifteen yards for the score and a 13-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter. The Seahawks added a FG to take a sixteen point advantage into halftime. The Saints finally got on the board early in the second half when undrafted rookie Khiry Robinson stepped over a defender and plowed ahead for a one-yard TD. Mark Ingraham ran for the two-point conversion to cut it to a one-score game at 16-8.
Lynch gave Seattle some breathing room when he swept around the left side and stiff-armed away a would-be tackler for a back-breaking 31-yard score to widen the gap to 23-8 with under three minutes to play. The Saints then scrambled for a miraculous outcome when on fourth and six from Seattle’s nine Drew Brees hit Marcus Colston to cut it to a one TD deficit with just :28 remaining. New Orleans recovered the subsequent onside kick, but a bizarre move by Colston ended the game when he caught a ball along the sideline, then inexplicably threw a forward pass across the field that caused a ten second run-off.
Patriots 43 – Colts 22 – The proposed duel between Tom Brady and Andrew Luck never materialized as New England ran roughshod over Indianapolis with a franchise-record six rushing TD’s, four coming from LeGarrette Blount alone–another franchise-record. After an astonishing comeback last week, Indy’s Luck finally ran out as the young QB threw four INT’s.
Things went south early for the Colts when on their opening possession Luck had a ball snatched away by Alfonzo Dennard for a pick that was then returned down to the Indy’s two-yard line. On the Patriots first offensive play of the game, Blount punched it in for the two-yard score and a lead that the Pats would never relinquish. Another Blount two-yard TD put New England up 14-0 before Luck connected with a streaking LaVon Brazil for a thirty-eight-yard TD. Yet another Blount two-yard plunge swelled the Pats’ lead to 21-7 before an Indy FG and safety chopped it to 21-12 by halftime.
New England’s avalanche of rushing TD’s continued in the second half as Stevan Ridley ran for two and Blount added his fourth. Ridley drove in from three-yards out and then added the two-point conversion to put the Pats up 29-15 midway through the third. Luck answered with another bomb to Brazil for a thirty-five yard score, but Blount broke the game open when he shifted in the backfield to an open hole and found daylight, then raced untouched seventy-three yards for the TD and a 36-22 lead.
Luck was picked on the ensuing drive and the Pats took over at Indy’s eighteen yard-line before Ridley hammered in the final score from a yard out. After another Luck pick, Brady knelt on it for the win.