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December 30, 2013

Blount's record-setting day leads Patriots into playoffs

Blount's record-setting game leads Patriotsinto playoffs with first-round bye

FOXBORO — As the 250-plus pound behemoth rumbled his way to his second kickoff return of over 60 yards in as many attempts, it became official.

Yesterday was LeGarrette Blount Day at Gillette Stadium.

With driving rain turning the turf in Foxboro into a Slip ‘N Slide and the injury-riddled Patriots needing the victory to clinch a first-round playoff bye, Blount turned in his best day as a New England Patriot -- and the best day of his NFL career.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game like that,” said Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski. “That game was crazy. Whatever accolades he gets he deserves. He was just a monster out there tonight.”

Blount exploded for a Patriots team-record 334 total yards, rushing for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns and returning two kickoffs for 145 yards, setting up two scores as the Patriots clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a 34-20 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Blount’s day shattered the previous New England record for yard in a game (274) set by Larry Garron in 1962, and his 189 rushing yards were not only by far Blount’s best in the NFL (168 yards against Seattle in 2010), but were also the fifth highest total in Patriots history.

“That was crazy,” said Blount. “That was fun out there. I’m not sore or tired at all. I’ve been giving it my all for the whole season, but today I found that little extra and it was just crazy. Now I get to play in my first playoffs.”

Blount ran over defenders like a muscular fullback, made cuts and broke long touchdown runs like a speed back and added the two huge kickoff returns each time Buffalo seemed to be grabbing some momentum.

In summary, he again established himself as the New England Patriots’ most dynamic running back.

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