by Mike Lucas 11-25-13
60 minutes wasn’t enough.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots needed overtime and a major special teams blunder by Denver to pick up a 34-31 win on Sunday Night Football.
The game didn’t look promising for New England early on. The Patriots fumbled the ball on its first three possessions resulting in 17 early points for Denver. Peyton Manning led the Broncos down the field for another touchdown in the first half while New England was held scoreless.
The second half was a totally different story. New England came out on fire and scored 31 unanswered points to take a 31-24 lead. The Patriots run was fueled by Broncos’ turnovers.
The game was still far from over.
With just minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Peyton Manning led the Broncos down the field for the game tying touchdown. The game would go to overtime.
The first 8 minutes of overtime were relatively uneventful. The Patriots and the Broncos exchanged punts, and Denver was about to receive the football. Instead, Chris Jones’ punt hit the leg of Denver’s Tony Carter and the Patriots recovered the ball on Denver’s 16-yard line. Three plays later, Stephen Gostkowski kicked the game winning 31-yard field goal.
The win increases New England’s record to 8-3 on the season and drops Denver to 9-2.
All the pregame hype was about the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady matchup, but Knowshon Moreno stole the offensive show for Denver. Moreno rushed for 224 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Brady threw for 344 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win.
Next week, Denver will travel to Kansas City for a game against the first place Chiefs. New England will travel down to Houston to play the 2-9 Texans.