They earned their trip with the second-most-lopsided AFC championship victory ever.
The New England Patriots’ dominant duo earned a sixth trip to the Super Bowl with a 45-7 wipeout of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game before a raucous, rain-soaked crowd Sunday night.
Scoring touchdowns on their first four second-half possessions, the Patriots advanced to face defending champion Seattle for the NFL title Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.
“I only have one thing to say: We’re on to Seattle,” Belichick said, echoing his “We’re on to Cincinnati” statement after a 41-14 loss at Kansas City dropped the Patriots to 2-2.
Brady threw three touchdown passes, LeGarrette Blount ran 30 times for 148 yards and three scores, and the Patriots dominated after leading 17-7 at halftime.
“I know we’ve had some ups and downs this year,” Brady said, “but right now we’re up, baby, and we’re going to try to stay up for one more game.”
In his first year as a starter, Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl win in the 2001 season, starting a run of three championships in four years. Now he and Belichick have a chance for their first in 10 years.
The list of milestones is long:
•New England tied Dallas and Pittsburgh for most appearances in the game with eight.
Brady completed 23 of 35 passes for 226 yards before being replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo with 3:20 left. Brady went to the sideline, where he was embraced by Belichick. Moments earlier, while sitting on the bench, Brady was shown on the video board with soaked hair. He pumped his fist in the air 12 times, then slapped hands with teammates.
The biggest blowout in AFC title history was Buffalo’s 51-3 win over the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1990 season.
For Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, it was the worst game of his three-year career and the fourth rout in his four games against the Patriots. He completed 12 of 33 passes for 126 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions.
“My play wasn’t up to par to give you a chance to beat a great team,” he said.