FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — All that stood between the New England Patriots and an eighth trip to the Super Bowl were the Indianapolis Colts.

And they weren’t standing for long.

The Patriots pummeled the Colts on a rainy and rollicking Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, winning the AFC championship game 45-7 to earn a shot at the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

LeGarrette Blount rushed for three touchdowns, Tom Brady threw for three more, and the Patriots defense limited the Colts to 209 yards while intercepting quarterback Andrew Luck twice.

“We wanted to throw multiple looks at them, try to look like one thing but be in another,” Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington said. “And No. 2, get on the receivers, try to jam, disrupt them, throw off their timing. And with the type of game that was, inclement weather and everything, just get on them, make them hit every ball.”

Luck, who directed the top-ranked passing offense in the NFL this season (306 yards per game), finished just 12 of 33 for 126 yards. His receivers were blanketed all game and his top two targets, T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne, combined for just one catch.

“I know my play wasn’t up to par for where it needs to be, to give you a chance to beat a quality, quality team like them,” Luck said. “They certainly had our number tonight.”

It was a stark contrast to the Patriots’ divisional-round playoff game, in which Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw for four touchdowns in a 35-31 loss.

“Great job by our defense,” Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones said. “Everyone played together and it showed on the field as just a brotherhood, and hopefully we can keep that momentum going.”

They will try to keep it going against the defending Super Bowl champions, who defeated Green Bay 28-22 in overtime earlier Sunday. For Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner, it will be a chance to face his former team.

“I envisioned us two at the end of the day and that’s what it panned out to be,” Browner said. “It’s awesome. Those are like my brothers over there. But I’m trying to win.”

New England achieved all kinds of superlatives with its victory. The Patriots will make their eighth appearance in the Super Bowl, tying the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most all-time. It will be Brady’s sixth trip to the Super Bowl – a record for quarterbacks. Coach Bill Belichick became the NFL leader in playoff victories with 21 and will tie Don Shula for the most Super Bowls as a head coach with six.

But it will mean little if the Patriots come up short again, as they have the last two times they reached the big gamg. For Brady, in particular, winning a fourth Super Bowl at age 37 is a burning desire.

“It’s nice to close the deal, baby. So we’ve got one more to go,” Brady told fans during the postgame trophy presentation. “I know we’ve had some ups and downs this year, but right now we’re up, baby, and we’re going to try to stay up for one more game.”

Brady finished 23 of 35 for 226 yards, with one touchdown pass to a usual target – tight end Rob Gronkowski – but also touchdown throws to fullback James Develin and tackle Nate Solder, who was eligible as a receiver and recorded his first NFL points.

Brady’s lone mistake came as the Patriots drove for a potential 21-0 lead with 9:21 left in the second quarter. He threw into double coverage, and the pass was behind Gronkowski and intercepted near the goal line by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. Indianapolis mounted a 93-yard scoring drive to cut the deficit to 14-7.

The momentum never lasted, thanks to a determined defense.

“What’s in our mind is to get off the field,” Arrington said. “Guys didn’t blink, though. Still the same mentality.”

The Patriots dominated the second half, using a 21-0 third quarter to seal the victory and keep the 68,756 fans dancing in the wind and rain.

Now, it’s off to the desert of Arizona for another Super Bowl.

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