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:00 4th Quarter: New England Patriots defeat the Denver Broncos 43-21 to improve their record to 7-2. The Broncos fall to 6-2.
Two Minute Warning: Patriots have 3rd and 5 from Denver 45-yard line.
2:15 4th Quarter: Timeout Broncos.
3:04 4th Quarter: Patriots take over on downs at their own 39-yard line.
6:21 4th Quarter: With a 4th and 1 from Denver 47-yard line, Patriots ssend out kicking team but then hurry them off as offense runs back on. Patriots end up with false start penalty and forced to kick. Broncos take over at own 35-yard line following punt.
08:43 4th Quarter: Misery continues for Broncos as they are stopped short of 1st down on attempted 4th down conversion. Patriots take over 1st and 10 from own 48-yard line.
10:23 4th Quarter: Following illegal block in the back call on Broncos, they will begin drive from own 19-yard line.
10:50 4th Quarter: Patriots go three and out. Punt from own 13-yard line.
11:20 4th Quarter: Patriots hold as pass falls incomplete in endzone.
11:25 4th Quarter: 4th and goal from 8-yard line for Broncos.
13:57 4th Quarter: Touchdown catch was Gronkowski's 51st to set new franchise record.
13:57 4th Quarter: Edelman with the catch but fails to get over goal line. Patriots 43 Broncos 21.
13:57 4th Quarter: Touchdown Patriots. Gronkowski with 1-yard touchdown catch. Patriots going for two.
14:00 4th Quarter: Ruling on the field stands, 1st and goal from 1-yard line. Patriots charged first time out.
14:00 4th Quarter: Gronkowski ruled down at 1-yard line following catch. Patriots are challenging call. They believe it was a touchdown.
End of 3rd Quarter: Patriots 37 Broncos 21.
1:45 3rd Quarter: Brady now has 51,493 passing yards to pass John Elway for 5th all-time.
3:40 3rd Quarter: 1st and 10 Patriots from own 41-yard line.
4:30 3rd Quarter: Patriots face 3rd and 7.
5:15 3rd Quarter: Broncos give Patriots first down with yet another penalty. This time an offsides call puts Patriots at own 30 yard line.
5:50 3rd Quarter: Broncos defense has to figure out how to STOP Brady if they are going to have any hope of a comeback. Brady is having his way with them.
5:50 3rd Quarter: Hillman with 15-yard reception for a Broncos touchdown. Touchdown confirmed by replay. Patriots 37 Broncos 21.
6:00 3rd Quarter: Defensive holding on Browner. Broncos have 1st and 10 from NE 20 yard line.
6:05 3rd Quarter: Pass interference called on Collins. 1st and 10 Broncos from NE 34-yard line
7:27 3rd Quarter: Brady to LaFell for 10-yard touchdown. Patriots 37 Broncos 14.
7:31 3rd Quarter: Ball bounces from Welker and is intercepted by Browner for second time at Denver 10.
7:46 3rd Quarter: Gostkowski's field goal is good. Patriots 30 Broncos 14.
7:51 3rd Quarter: Patriots attempting 45-yard field goal.
7:56 3rd Quarter: Broncos defense missed big opportunity by allowing that fourth down conversion.
8:44 3rd Quarter: Patriots having their way with Broncos as they convert on 4th and 5 with 12-yard pass to Vereen.
9:02 3rd Quarter: Patriots going for it on 4th and 5.
9:40 3rd Quarter: Broncos have Brady on the run but Amendola switches route to come back to him and catches 21-yard pass to Denver 42-yard line. First and 10.
10:41 3rd Quarter: Broncos defense has Patriots facing a 3rd and 8 from own 33.
11:06 3rd Quarter: Broncos start 3rd quarter as they needed to. Now it swings back to defense to stop Brady again. Tall order for defense.
11:06 3rd Quarter: Manning finds Julius Thomas for 18-yard touchdown. Patriots 27 Broncos 14
11:30 3rd Quarter: Broncos facing 3rd and 1 from NE 18.
12:44 3rd Quarter: Patriots send blitz but Manning able to complete 27-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas to NE 26-yard line.
13:30 3rd Quarter: Broncos defense did what they needed to do. Offense must now score a touchdown to get Broncos back into game.
13:30 3rd Quarter: Broncos finally get pressure on Brady. Brady rushes throw and is picked off by rookie cornerback Bradley Roby at Denver 43-yard line.
15:00 3rd Quarter: Patriots start at own 20 yard line.
Halftime: Penalties/Yards: Broncos- 6/45 Patriots- 2/23
Halftime: Turnovers: Broncos- 1 Patriots- 0
Halftime: Stats are pretty even between the two teams until you get to turnovers and penalties.
Halftime: Rushing: Broncos- 21 Patriots 18
Halftime: Passing: Broncos- 169 Patriots- 177
Halftime: First half stats -total yards: Broncos- 190 Patriots- 195
Halftime: If Broncos defense cannot stop Patriots on opening drive of second half, and offense score a touchdown on their first possession, this game will be done.
Halftime: Broncos have had one decent drive. Otherwise, they have been out of sync on offense and defensively they have been unable to apply consistent pressure on Brady. Brady is having another field day.
Halftime: Patriots 27 Broncos 7
:08 2nd Quarter: Touchdown to Vereen. Patriots offensive line handling Broncos pass rush. Patriots lead 27-7.
:33 2nd Quarter: Replay reverses touchdown. 2nd and goal from 5 yard line.
:33 2nd Quarter: Video is showing ball moving in Edelman's hands as he hits ground. Ball appears to touch ground.
:33 2nd Quarter: 5-yard touchdown pass to Edleman. Play under review.
:38 2nd Quarter: Broncos use 2nd timeout with Patriots facing 1st and goal from 5-yard line.
:59 2nd Quarter: 27 yard pass play to Edelman puts Patriots in field goal range.
1:11 2nd Quarter: Patriots in hurry up offense. Von Miller chases Brady from pocket. Brady called for intentional grounding. 2nd and 20 from Denver 48.
1:55 2nd Quarter: Aqib Talib flagged for holding on Gronkowski. 1st and 10.
2:00 2nd Quarter: Brady calls final timeout as Patriots come out of two minute warning.
Two Minute Warning!
2:05 2nd Quarter: Ayers sacks Manning. Patriots take over on downs at own 43-yard line.
2:09 2nd Quarter: Patriots call timeout. Broncos going for it due to wind and inconsistency by McManus.
2:09 2nd Quarter: Broncos going for it on 4th and 6 from 34 yard line.
4:27 2nd Quarter: Broncos cross midfield, 2nd and 4
4:27 2nd Quarter: Broncos need a touchdown before end of half.
4:54 2nd Quarter: Denver defense comes up big as Derek Wolfe forces Brady to throw ball out of bounds. Patriots fored to punt. Broncos take over at own 33-yard line, 1st and 10.
5:30 2nd Quarter: Patriots defense did what they needed to do to preserve their momentum as 2nd quarter winds down.
5:30 2nd Quarter: Brandon McManus misses 41 yard field goal attempt. Ball goes off right goalpost.
5:30 2nd Quarter: Patriots stop Broncos on 3rd and 10 with incompletion to Welker.
5:39 2nd Quarter: Patriots blitzing. Force Manning to throw early. 3rd and 10.
5:39 2nd Quarter: 2nd and 10 from NE 23-yard line. Timeout Broncos.
5:39 2nd Quarter: Patriots defense needs to hold Broncos out of endzone to preserve momentum.
6:17 2nd Quarter: Gain of 25 yards on completion to Sanders at New England 23 yard line.
7:14 2nd Quarter: Sanders looks healthy as he has two catches on drive. 1st and 10 from 50-yard line for Broncos.
8:07 2nd Quarter: Broncos take over 1st and 10 from own 25-yard line.
8:11 2nd Quarter: Edelman's 84-yard punt return is longest in franchise history. Patriots have now scored 17 unanswered points.
8:11 2nd Quarter: Broncos special teams gives up 84-yard punt return by Edelman for Patriots touchdown. Patriots take 20-7 lead.
8:38 2nd Quarter: Patriots stop Broncos on incompletion.
8:38 2nd Quarter: Emmanuel Sanders is back in for Broncos.
8:38 2nd Quarter: With tight end Virgil Green out the Broncos have been utilizing Julius Thomas as pass blocker. Not his strong suit.
8:38 2nd Quarter: Broncos face 3rd and 20 from own 31-yard line. Patriots use first timeout.
9:05 2nd Quarter: Broncos are own worst enemy in 2nd quarter as an intereption and penalties are killing them.
10:15 2nd Quarter: Big 1st down conversion by Demaryius Thomas for 24 yards to get Broncos out of shadow of own endzone.
11:37 2nd Quarter: Emmanuel Sanders on sideline with reported bruised ribs. His status is questionable as of now. Big blow to Broncos if he is unable to come back.
11:41 2nd Quarter: Following interception Patriots convert on 4 play, 34-yard drive.
11:41 2nd Quarter: Edelman catches 5-yard pass from Brady for touchdown to give Patriots lead, 13-7.
11:45 2nd Quarter: Defensive holding call on Nate Irving puts Patriots on 5-yard line with 1st and goal.
12:25 2nd Quarter: Patriots pick up first down to Denver 10 on 13-yard pass to Gronkowski.
13:15 2nd Quarter: Emmanuel Sanders was shaken up on interception.
13:34 2nd Quarter: Ninkovich intercepts Manning at Denver 34-yard line.
13:34 2nd Quarter: Patriots get ball right back as Manning is intercepted.
14:14 2nd Quarter: Broncos take over at own 21 yard line.
14:19 2nd Quarter: Patriots have to be frustrated on coming away with only two field goals. Key to Patriots' win is converting touchdowns when in red zone. Broncos defense is much improved over last year and if Patriots fall to0 far behind they will have much tougher time coming back.
14:19 2nd Quarter: Gostkowski good from 29 yards out to make it a 7-6 Denver lead.
14:35 2nd Quarter: Brady fires pass into endzone for LaFell who drops pass. 4th and 4.
15:00 2nd Quarter: Broncos- 75 total yards. Patriots- 87.
15:00 2nd Quarter: Both teams even on first downs in first quarter with 5.
End of 1st Quarter: When play resumes in 2nd Quarter, Patriots will have 2nd and 11 from Denver 18-yard line.
:32 1st Quarter: Gronkowski picks up 1st down on catch to Broncos' 17-yard line.
1:15 1st Quarter: DeMarcus Ware puts pressure on Brady as he throws pass away. 3rd and 10.
2:20 1st Quarter: 1st and 1o from Broncos' 29 yard line. Patriots have picked up pace of play, storming downfield.
3:49 1st Quarter: Concern coming in over how Manning would do with passes into wind. His arm strength has improved over last year and on last drive the wind was no problem for him.
3:49 1st Quarter: Patriots take over at own 21-yard line.
3:54 1st Quarter: Broncos' drive: 9 plays, 80 yards, 3;15 off of clock.
3:54 1st Quarter: Hillman scores on 1-yard run to put Broncos up 7-3.
3:58 1st Quarter: 3rd and 10 pass into endzone for Demaryius Thomas ends in pass interference call on Browner.
4:20 1st Quarter: Manning has wind figured out as he goes 5-for-5 on drive to Patriots' 13-yard line.
5:34 1st Quarter: Broncos pick up another first down on 21 yard pass to Sanders. Broncos have first-and-10 at Patriots 31.
6:31 1st Quarter: 17-yard pass play to Emmanuel Sanders picks up Broncos' first first down to own 44-yard line.
7:09 1st Quarter: Gostkowski's kickoff goes into first row for touchback. Wind is strong.
7:09 1st Quarter: Gostkowski good from 49 yards out to make it a 3-0 Patriots lead. Broncos are going into wind in first quarter which is gusting.
8:07 1st Quarter: 3rd and 6, Patriots crowd booing Aqib Talib. Patriots held on third down and will go for 49-yard fg.
8:59 1st Quarter: Patriots will take over at Denver 39-yard line following 15-yard penalty.
8:59 1st Quarter: 15-yard penalty on Broncos for interference on punt.
9:07 1st Quarter: Broncos go three and out for second consecutive drive. Passes from Manning have been behind receivers so far.
10:29 1st Quarter: Brady goes deep on third down but off the tip of receivers fingers at Denver 10-yard line. Patriots punt and Broncos take over at own 20-yard line on touchback.
11:17 1st quarter: Broncos go three and out on first drive.
Rushing Yards Allowed: Broncos- 72.4 (1st). Patriots- 129.6 (25th)
Passing Yards Allowed: Broncos- 242.9 (17th). Patriots- 210.9 (2nd)
Points Allowed: Broncos- 20.3 (6th). Patriots- 22.1 (14th)
Rushing: Broncos- 101.4 YPG (21st). Patriots- 105.6 YPG (17th)
Passing: Broncos- 297 YPG (3rd). Patriots- 257.5 YPG (10th)
Team Stats: Points Scored (NFL Rank): Broncos- 32.0 (1st). Patriots- 29.8 (3rd)
Receiving: Demaryius Thomas: 47 REC, 767 yards (16.3 avg), 6 TD. Rob Gronkowski- 40 REC, 558 yards (14.0 avg), 7 TD
Rushing: Ronnie Hillman: 75 CAR, 349 yards (4.7 avg), 2 TD. Stevan Ridley: 94 CAR, 340 yards (3.6 avg), 2 TD
Individual Stats: Passing: Peyton Manning- 174-252 (69%), 2,134 yards, 22 TD, 3 INT. Tom Brady- 181-281 (64.4%), 2,059 yards, 18 TD, 2 INT.
Offensively the Patriots will need to score first and keep on scoring. With the Broncos leading the league in scoring it will be important for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to control the clock and score points on every drive. If the Patriots have drives that stall out, especially in the redzone, it won't be long before they are looking up at the scoreboard with a sizeable deficit to overcome. They managed to mount a comeback last season against the Broncos at home. This season the Broncos have a much improved defense which is playing at a high level. This will make another successful comeback harder for the Patriots to achieve.
Keys to the game for the Patriots: The Patriots defense will be kept busy as the try to contain a Broncos passing attack that has numerous weapons for Peyton Manning to go to. Darrelle Revis will be matched up primarily with wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for much of the afternoon. However, Peyton Manning has shown this season that if one weapon is taken away he will find another target somewhere else. It will be important for the Patriots to generate as much pressure up front in order to move Manning from his comfort zone in the pocket which will throw the offense's timing off. As always, a Manning offense is all about timing. Disrupt that timing and the Patriots have a chance to slow down a offense that leads the league in scoring (32).
Cornerback Aqib Talib, who was standing on the Patriots' sideline last season, will be making his first appearance in his old stomping grounds as a member of the Broncos. Talib, along with the rest of the secondary will have their hands full as they deal with the talented tight end Rob Gronkowski. Stopping "Gronk" will be the key for the Broncos defense as they attempt to halt a Patriots offense that is on a hot streak. The Broncos will also need to maintain constant pressure on Tom Brady from the edge with Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
Keys to the game for the Broncos: In last January's conference championship game against the Patriots the Broncos had a 10 minutes advantage in time of possession as they utilized a slowed down passing attack to control the clock. This season the Broncos have an effective running game that will allow them to eat up yardage and time off the clock in order to limit the opportunities for Brady and the Patriots offense. Wind gusts of 30 mph or more are in the forecast for Sunday's game in Foxboro. An effective running game will be needed in order to keep the Broncos offense moving down the field.
That game, along with the Super Bowl blowout, were at the forefront of General Manager John Elway's mind as he revamped the Broncos defense with additions that included former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib.
The last time the Broncos visited Gillette Stadium was in last November's 34-31 loss in overtime. The Broncos jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first half as the Patriots fumbled away their first three possessions and the home crowd booed the Patriots off the field at halftime. The Patriots mounted an incredible second half comeback that pushed the game into overtime. A Patriots' punt that deflected off of Broncos returner Tony Carter's leg at the Denver 13-yard line led to a 31-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski to win the game.
The Patriots have won 13 straight home games and have generated one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. The Broncos are listed as a three point favorite which makes the Patriots a home underdog for just the fourth time since 2003. Three of those four games were to a Manning quarterbacked team.
The month of October were impressive months for Manning and Brady. The two quarterbacks went 4-0 during the month while completing 100 passes and 14 touchdowns. Both teams dominated their opponents during October with the Broncos winning by an average margin of 18.5 points and the Patriots by 17.8 points. Manning leads the NFL in QBR with 90.1 while Brady's 75.4 is ranked sixth. Both quarterbacks finished 1-2 in QBR for the month of October.
The Patriots enter the game with the AFC's second best record and leading the AFC East by one game in the loss column over the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Since their humiliating 41-14 rout at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs on "Monday Night Football" in Week 4, the Patriots have won four straight while silencing critics who declared the "Patriot Way" a thing of the past. The Patriots offense has kicked things into gear with the return of a healthy Rob Gronkowski at tight end. Against the Chicago Bears last week Gronkowski returned to form as he caught three of his nine receptions for touchdowns while totaling 149 yards. It was also a big game for Brady. In one of his best performances as a pro, he completed 30 of 35 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns as the Patriots crushed the Bears 51-23. How on target was Brady? Four of his five incompletions were dropped passes.
The Broncos come into Sunday's game with the AFC's best record and sitting atop the AFC West by two games in the loss column over the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos defeated the Chargers in a Week 8 showdown at Sports Authority Field, 35-21. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a career-night as he caught all three of Manning's touchdown passes while amassing 120 yards on nine catches. The Broncos running game has been revitalized with Ronnie Hillman as the starter and rookie Juwan Thompson coming into the game as the change-of-pace back. Hillman broke the century mark for the second time in three games as a starter (20 CAR, 109 yards) while Thompson scored two touchdowns on the ground.
The Patriots came into the game with a thundering ground attack behind running back LeGarrette Blount that was averaging over 200 yards in each of their previous three games. Down 17 points in the third quarter and with Blount held to just six yards on five carries, Brady and the Patriots offense needed to mount a comeback through the air. Brady led the Patriots on two touchdown drives, the final coming with 3:07 left in the game to cut the deficit to 26-16. The Broncos stopped the Patriots' ensuing 2-point conversion attempt and their hopes of a comeback.
Last January's AFC Championship Game in Denver was the last time these two teams met. Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns as the Broncos advanced to Super Bowl XLVIII with a 26-16 victory. The Broncos held on to the ball 10 minutes longer than the Patriots with the aid of two seven minute touchdown drives that put them up 20-3 in the third quarter.
Over the past 15 meetings between this generation's top two quarterbacks, Brady and the Patriots have gone 10-5 against Manning and the Indianapolis Colts/Broncos. In the playoffs, Manning and Brady have split the four games their teams have played each other with three of the four meetings coming in the AFC Championship Game. Manning is 2-1 in conference title games - Brady and the Patriots.
For the 16th time since 2001 it will be Peyton Manning - Tom Brady as the Denver Broncos (6-1) head to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots (6-2) at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Manning - Brady rivalry is matched in NFL history only by the rivalry that dominatted the 1960's between the Baltimore Colts' Johnny Unitas and the Green Bay Packers' Bart Starr.