NFL Game Summary - Denver at New England|
(Sunday, November 24th)
Final Score: New England 34, Denver 31 (OT)
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Stephen Gostkowski drilled a 31-yard field
goal with 1:56 left in overtime, capping the largest comeback in Patriots
history and lifting New England to a 34-31 decision over the Denver Broncos on
Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
The Broncos built a 24-0 halftime lead thanks in large part to a sloppy first
half from the New England offense, but Tom Brady led the Patriots on five
straight scoring drives to turn the deficit into a seven-point advantage.
"We didn't give ourselves a chance in the first half with the turnovers,"
Brady said. "They got a big lead and we found ways to just put one play after
the next one and ended up scoring some points."
Peyton Manning responded with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring march that he capped
with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, tying the game with 3:06
left in the regulation.
Once in overtime, New England won the toss, but elected to go with the wind
rather than take first ball.
"I just felt like the wind would be an advantage if we could keep them out of
the end zone on the first drive," New England head coach Bill Belichick said
of his decision. "The wind was significant in the game."
The gamble paid off as New England forced a Denver punt to open overtime, but
the Patriots punted the ball right back after picking up just one first down.
Manning moved his team across midfield on the ensuing possession, but his
3rd-and-8 pass intended for former Patriot Wes Welker fell incomplete.
Denver's defense then forced a quick New England punt with 3:11 left in
overtime, but the short kick caught a piece of Denver's Tony Carter and Nate
Ebner of the Patriots pounced on the loose ball at the Denver 13.
Three plays later, Gostkowski sent his game-winning kick through the uprights
to help New England (8-3) remain unbeaten at home this season.
Brady finished 34-of-50 passing for 344 yards and three touchdowns, two of
which went to Julian Edelman, who registered nine catches for 110 yards.
Brandon Bolden rushed for 58 yards and a score on 13 carries for the Patriots,
who own a comfortable three-game lead atop the AFC East.
Manning, meanwhile, managed just 150 yards and two scores with an interception
on 19-of-36 passing for the Broncos (9-2), who remain tied with Kansas City
atop the AFC West after the Chiefs lost to San Diego.
"It's disappointing," Manning admitted. "You had a chance to beat a good team
at their place...hated the way that ended."
Knowshon Moreno put forth a valiant effort in defeat, carrying the ball 37
times for a career-high 224 yards and a touchdown.
With his team down 24-0 at the break, Brady opened the second half with an
efficient 8-play series that he capped with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Edelman
to get the Patriots on the board.
New England linebacker Brandon Spikes recovered a fumble at the Denver 32 to
end the Broncos' first drive of the third before Brady hooked up with Rob
Gronkowski for a 13-yard pick up on 3rd-and-3 from the Denver 14.
Two plays later, Bolden surged into the end zone for a yard out to bring New
England within 24-14 with 5:40 left in the third.
Following a Denver punt, Brady and Edelman hooked up for a 43-yard gain on the
second play of New England's 5-play trek that Brady capped with a 6-yard TD
toss to Gronkowski to get the Patriots within three late in the third.
New England safety Logan Ryan picked off a Manning pass three plays into
Denver's next sequence and Brady needed just three plays to put the Patriots
in front, as he found Edelman for a 14-yard touchdown that made it 28-24 New
England less than two minutes into the fourth.
After forcing a Denver three-and-out, Brady led New England inside the Denver
red zone with a 12-play trek, but the drive stalled at the 13-yard line and
the Patriots settled for a 31-yard field goal from Gostkowski to push the
margin to 31-24 with 7:37 left in regulation.
Denver dominated the game in the early going, with the defense turning New
England over on the team's first three possessions.
The first turnover went for a score, as linebacker Wesley Woodyard met Steven
Ridley in the backfield and knocked the ball free. Von Miller scooped up the
loose ball and followed a convoy of Denver defenders into the end zone for a
60-yard fumble return touchdown that gave the Broncos a 7-0 lead.
Two plays into New England's next drive, Miller came hard off the edge and
stripped Brady, with defensive tackle Terrance Knighton returning the fumble
13 yards to the New England 10 to set up Moreno's 2-yard TD run that made it
14-0 with just under nine minutes left in the first.
Denver safety Duke Ihenacho forced a LeGarrette Blount fumble on the third
play of the Patriots' ensuing series, but the Denver drive stalled at the New
England 6 and the team settled for a 27-yard field goal from Matt Prater to
push the lead to 17-0.
New England turned the ball over on downs at the Denver 30 early in the second
and Manning moved the Broncos 70 yards in 11 plays, culminating in a 10-yard
TD toss to Jacob Tamme that made it 24-0 with 6:10 left in the half.
Manning fell to 2-10 all-time on the road against New England ... New England
had been 0-17 all-time when down by 24-or-more at halftime ... With his 10th
TD grab of the season, Thomas became the first player in Broncos history to
have at least 10 touchdown catches in consecutive seasons ... Gronkowski
caught seven passes for 90 yards.
11/25 01:53:17 ET