Patriots Rally from 24 Point Deficit and Defeat Broncos

Posted: November 25, 2013 by ericbernsen in NFL, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

Last night in Foxboro was a historic and frigid one, as the New England Patriots came back from 24 point deficit at halftime and defeated the Denver Broncos 34-31 in OT. The hype behind another classic Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning match-up was fulfilled, but not in the way most people expected. The first half of the game was painful for Pats fans to endure as running backs Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount couldn’t hold onto the ball while the defense had no answer for Knowshon Moreno. Peyton Manning was held in check due to the severe wind conditions at Gillette Stadium, but that did not stop Denver from gaining a commanding 24-0 lead at halftime.

Despite the embarrassing performance early in the game, there was no panic in the Patriots locker room and the momentum completely changed in the second half of the contest. The Pats scored 31 unanswered as Brady got in a groove with WR Julian Edelman who had a great night as all of the pregame chatter consisted of Broncos receiver Wes Welker and his return to Foxboro. The defining moment of the game came late in overtime as Welker chose not to fair catch a punt and the ball ended bouncing off teammate Tony Carter with the Patriots recovering with prime field position for kicker Stephen Gostkowski’s game-winning field goal. While some may have questioned Coach Bill Belichick’s decision to defer the coin toss and give Manning the ball first in overtime due to the wind conditions, it proved to be the right choice in what was the largest comeback in Patriots franchise history.

The dramatic victory had important playoff implications as New England maintains its one-game lead over the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts for a first-round bye. Tom Brady came through with his 39th career-game winning performance when down in the 4th quarter and improved to 25-5 when the temperature is 32 degrees or lower at game-time. Once again, Brady got the best of Manning in an insta-classic regular season game and we can look forward to a potential rematch in the playoffs.

Final Consensus: Wow. This had to be one of the best regular-season football games I have ever seen and one of the more improbable victories in Patriots history. Usually fans who leave early deserve to be ridiculed, but I don’t blame anyone who escaped from the misery that was the first half of that game. Before this game, teams that had trailed by 24 points or more at halftime were 5-485….think about that for a second. Everyone was wondering how the weather would impact the offensive attack of each team and it certainly made a difference. Although Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the best ever, the guy does just not do well in the cold especially with a hurt ankle. It is not very often that you can turn the ball over the way the Patriots did and still come out with a win, especially against one of the best teams in the league. But New England is a team that never gives up and preserves one play at a time. Their schedule softens up for the rest of the year and the team should be in a solid position come playoff time. The Patriots are far from perfect and still have concerns they need to address…but they do enough to win and that is all that matters.

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