2012 NFL Playoffs: Patriots Crush Broncos, 45-10, as Brady Sets Touchdown Record

Jimmy Grappone@cltsportshubCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2012

Tom Brady and Deion Branch celebrate a touchdown.
Tom Brady and Deion Branch celebrate a touchdown.Al Bello/Getty Images

Tom Brady threw six touchdown passes, including five in the first half, in Sunday night's AFC Divisional playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos.

Brady's five first-half touchdown passes are the most in a half in NFL Playoff history, and tight end Rob Gronkowski's three touchdown receptions tied the record for most touchdown receptions in a playoff game.

Brady's six touchdown passes tie Steve Young's playoff record set in Super Bowl XXIX.

Brady and his coach, Bill Belichick, set the NFL record for wins by a quarterback/coach tandem with their 15th playoff win together.


Fast Starting Patriots

New England started the game with a four-play, eighty-yard drive that resulted in a Brady-to-Welker touchdown pass.

Denver moved the ball beyond midfield on its opening drive and seemed to be marching down the field until Tim Tebow was sacked and fumbled. 

The Patriots recovered the ball and scored on the first of three consecutive touchdowns by "Gronk," the NFL's best tight end.

Gronkowski had eight catches for 97-yards and three touchdowns in the first half.

The Patriots' other tight-end, Aaron Hernandez, rushed three times for 58 yards and had three catches for 46 more. 


Minor Denver Charge

Denver closed to 14-7 on a Willis McGahee touchdown run following a Brady interception pass, but a personal foul charged to the Broncos' lineman Zane Beadles pushed the Denver kickoff team back 20-yards.

Matt Prater's kick, which would have sailed 9-yards into the end zone without the penalty, was fielded by Danny Woodhead at the 11 and returned past the 40.

Though the Broncos forced a three-and-out, the Patriots pinned Denver inside the five-yard line and gained the field position advantage.

New England closed the first-half scoring on a 61-yard Brady-to-Deion Branch touchdown pass on a play where Branch may have gotten away with pass interference.


Denver Quarterback Quiet, But Ad Geared Toward Tebow Faithful

Tim Tebow was 9-of-26 for 136 yards and those tuning in to watch him do something special did not have much to for on the football field.

However, those watching the game in real-time and not fast-forwarding through all the commercials—and not getting up to go to the bathroom or grab another beer—saw Focus on the Family's commercial in the second-quarter highlighting the Gospel verse, John 3:16, which states that God so loved the world, He gave his only son..

But no matter the result of the game, Tebow can be proud to be the reason such an ad could be run on primetime television in the first place.