Patriots-Broncos: What we saw in the epic, 34-31, Pats OT win

Here’s what we saw in an epic, 34-31, Patriots overtime victory Sunday night at Gillette Stadium:

1. Unreal in OT
The Patriots and Broncos looked as though they were headed toward a tie but Tony Carter’s costly special teams mistake set up an easy Patriots score with time dwindling down in the extra session. With Wes Welker shouting to his Broncos teammates to “get away” from the bounding ball, Carter inadvertently touched the pigskin and Nate Ebner fell on it to set the Pats up for a chip-shot, 31-yard field goal. Stephen Gostkowski drilled it, giving the Patriots an improbable victory after being down 24-0 at halftime. The Pats moved to 8-3 on the season and seem primed for at least the second seed in the AFC playoffs with five weeks remaining in the regular season.

2. A frantic fourth
To open the fourth quarter, Logan Ryan stepped in front of Eric Decker and intercepted Peyton Manning. Three plays, 30 yards and 79 seconds later, the Patriots had remarkably taken the lead, 28-24, when Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman on a curl pattern. The Pats receiver turned up-field after the reception and dove into the end zone to send the Gillette Stadium crowd into delirium. Manning had a brutal night prior to late in the fourth quarter when he, with a lot of help from Demaryius Thomas, drove the Broncos 80 yards in 4:31 for a tying touchdown that forced overtime.

3. Turnover-fest 2013
The Patriots had as odd a first half as has been seen in the Bill Belichick era as they coughed up the ball three times. The three turnovers directly led to Denver scores.


In the first quarter, Wesley Woodyard blasted Stevan Ridley and the Pats’ back fumbled yet again as the ball popped up in the air, was recovered by Vonn Miller and returned 60 yards for a touchdown. On the Patriots’ next drive, Brady was strip-sacked by Miller and the Broncos recovered. Two Knowshon Moreno runs later, the Broncos had a 14-0 lead just six minutes and six seconds into the game. LeGarrette Blount added his name to the New England fumble list minutes later as he was whacked by Duke Ihenacho. Denver recovered that Pats blunder as well, leading to a Matt Prater 27-yard field goal.

4. Twenty-one-up
The Patriots exploded for 21 points out of the halftime gate and Denver couldn’t match the Pats’ firepower in the third:

- Edelman beat Quentin Jammer on a fade route to complete a quick Pats drive to open the quarter.

- Dane Fletcher forced a Montee Ball fumble that set up a Brandon Bolden touchdown.

- Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a 6-yard touchdown pass to pull the Pats to within three points heading into the fourth quarter.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…