The Holy Grail of pro football - an undefeated season - is now out of the question for the 2015 Patriots (10-1) as they fell to the Broncos (9-2) in Denver, 30-24, in overtime Sunday night.
Stephen Gostkowski's fourth quarter 47-yard field goal, as time expired, forced the extra session but the Pats went three-and-out on their only OT drive and Denver running back C.J. Anderson dashed into the end zone from 48 yards out in Denver's OT drive to win the game for the Broncos.
"I'm really proud of the way our team fought tonight," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "I thought we gave a tremendous effort and played really hard. There were some things obviously we could have done better, could have coached better, could have played better but the guys really played hard and I have all the respect in the world for this football team, the way they competed."
Patriots superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski went down in a heap late in the fourth quarter after sustaining a blow to his right knee while attempting to catch a pass. Broncos saftey Darian Stewart went low on the All-Pro tight end on the play and Gronkowski was forced to leave the field on a cart. It was initially feared that Gronkowski would miss the remainder of the 2015 season. But reports early Monday indicated that "Gronk" could be back in time for the playoffs.
"#Patriots do not believe that TE Rob Gronkowski suffered a serious knee injury, source said," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted early Monday. "More tests [Monday], but a sigh of relief."
The Patriots still control their own destiny in the race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They will host Philadelphia next Sunday (4:25 p.m., FOX).