brady gronkowski freak out

Insanity! – Patriots Defeat Broncos

I back in Week 6, after Tom Brady hit Kenbrell Thompkins in the end zone to defeat the New Orleans Saints, I wrote that you only get a game like this once every three or four seasons.  

I was wrong.

I will have a two year old crawling into my bed and telling me that he needs to pee in about six hours, so I'll keep tonight's recap short.  I'll get more in-depth with tomorrow's risers and fallers.  The bottom line is that Brady/Manning XIV was every bit as good as advertised, even if mid-way through the 1st quarter, it looked to be the dud of the series.  The Patriots had three fumbles on their first three drives, leading to to a 17-0 Denver lead.  The continued to sputter and drop the ball on the ground the remainder of the half.  Manning piled on with an additional touchdown, to give the Patriots a 24-0 hole heading into half time.  

The key was that the Broncos became extremely conservative after that 17-0 lead, despite the fact that there was about fifty minutes remaining in the game.  The Patriots had plenty of time to chip away, but I wasn't sure that the defense would be able to limit the Broncos defense, and the Patriots offense looked downright dismal.  Jack Del Rio must've been thinking the same thing as he dialed up a heavy amount of runs for Moreno and largely limited Manning's passing attempts.  While the Denver running game was highly successful with an astonishing 280 yards on the ground, it's hard to sustain long drives focusing that heavily on the runs.  When the Patriots would finally get a stop on the ground, Manning wasn't able to seal the 1st down through the air.  

With the Patirots facing 24-0 half time defecit in the biggest game of the season, I began contemplating whether I should kick the Patriots off of this week's Top 12, or  whether it was a better statment to just do a Top 11 and remove their spot completely.  It was just that ugly and disappointing.  I honestly don't think I've seen a worse half of football from this team.  But just when I think this team couldn't play any dumber…

Brady to Edelman on a beautiful floater…

Brandy to Gronkowski, followed by Brady completely losing his mind…

Brandon Bolden across the goal line…

Julian Edelman shaking a defender and leaping for a 28-24 lead…

A Gostkowkski field goal, making it thirty-one unanswered…

 

Manning did manage to tie the game up and send the game into overtime.  It's amazing what the man can do when his coach doesn't handcuff him by trying to run the clock out for fifty minutes.  The Patriots won the toss and Belichick made the gutsy move to give Denver the ball in order to get the wind on his side.  While I was concerned that we were in for yet another "4th and 2" debacle, I had to admit that I agreed with the call.  The Patriots defense had been largely dominant through out the game and the wind was so powerful, that it easily swung the necessary position for field goals by a good 20 yards. 

And then, we waited for nearly twelve minutes as the Broncos punted, and the Patriots punted back, and the Broncos punted, and the Patriots punted, and I'm thinking that a tie would probably be just as beneficial as a win for playoff-seeding purposes, and…

WES WELKAH screwed up his read on a punt, bailing on the last second and causing his teammate to contact the ball for a fumble at the 20 yard line.  The Patriots recoved, bedlam ensued, Gostkowski's kick was true, and the Patriots completed the biggest comeback in franchise history against Peyton Manning, against Wes Welker, and againt the lousy refs who still can't figure out that a defender draped across the neck of a receiver is PASS INTERFERENCE!

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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