Finally, new Tim Tebow nicknames can be put on hold for a week and media talks can quiet down a bit as the Broncos fall to the Patriots at home, 41-23. Despite the fact that Tebow has been playing out of his mind, it was about time for him to be brought back down to size and who better to do it than the New England Patriots? The last time the Broncos lost by such a deficit was in week 8 at home vs. the Detroit Lions. The Broncos lost to the Lions, 45-10. I am sure Belichick looked at the Lions/Broncos tape in week 8 to prepare for their week 15 matchup against the Broncos, but the Broncos have matured a lot as a team since then and they have what it takes to give elite teams a scare.
The Broncos got off to a fast start against the Patriots and scored on the opening drive. Tim Tebow took his team down the field in 5 minuts and broke off a 9 yard touchdown run, shaking off defenders in the process. Brady responded immediately on a 2 and a half minute drive connecting with………….Chad Ochocinco on a 33 yard touchdown pass!!! It was nice to finally see Ochocinco getting into the end zone and do it the Patriot way (minus an outlandish td celebration). The Broncos responded again on the next drive as Lance Ball capped of a two minute and twenty three second drive by running for a 32 yard touchdown. The Broncos were in their glory up 13-7 but it was all too good to be true. It started to go down-hill from there as Willis McGahee pulled his hamstring and couldn't really contribute for the rest of the game. From then on in, the Broncos started chalking up the ball and tripping on their own feet. After a Broncos field goal and a Hernandez touchdown catch, Broncos running back Lance Ball fumbles the ball in the second quarter and sets the Patriots up for a Gostkowski field goal. The Patriots go up 17-16 and the tables start turning. With a little less than five minutes to go in the second quarter, Patriots defensive end Mark Anderson strips Tim Tebow and the Patriots are back in business at the Broncos 40 yard line. The Broncos held the Patriots to a fourth down and one but the Patriots went for it on a play action to Hernandez which set them up for a one yard touchdown run by Tom Brady. Broncos went three and out on their next drive and so did the Patriots, but when punting the ball back to the Broncos, Broncos punt returner Quan Cosby muffs the punt and sets the Patriots up for another field goal with 14 seconds left to go in the first half! The Patriots scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter and it was too late for the Broncos to play catch-up in the second half with their type of offense combined with Tom Brady playing flawless. Tim Tebow was trying to do too much and confidence was lost for the Broncos as they only put up 7 more points in the game. Brady brought his team down the field twice more in the second half and controlled the game clock the rest of the way. Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis both had a touchdown a piece in the second half and the Patriots left Mile High Stadium with the win, 41-23.
It’s hard for any team to win seven straight games in a row so the Broncos shouldn’t be too discouraged with their playoff hopes very much alive on top of the AFC West division. The Patriots had a much needed win to secure what is shaping up to be a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The New England Patriots (11-3) will face the Miami Dolphins (5-9) at home in week 16.
Jaw Dropping Stat: Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have a total of 426 receiving yards in the last two weeks!