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

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.