#8. January 11, 2014 New England Patriots 43 Indianapolis Colts 22
In another dominating performance, the Patriots punched their ticket to their third straight AFC Championship game with a punishing rushing attack that the Colts had no answer for. During the week leading up to the game, the Colts signed free agent receiver–and longtime Patriot–Deion Branch to their roster as an ‘insurance policy’. Branch did not play in the game and he would have made little difference even if he did. New England led throughout and never looked back.
The Patriots scored six rushing touchdowns in the game, four of which were with LeGarrette Blount, both franchise records. Blount added 166 yards on the ground and the Patriots defense intercepted Colts QB Andrew Luck four times to leave little doubt in the final result.
New England would go on to Denver the next week where they would ultimately fall short 26-16, their second consecutive AFC Championship loss. They would face the Colts again the following season in that year’s AFC Championship game, a contest which would spark the now infamous Deflategate scandal.