The game was a tale of two halves, as the Patriots overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit to win the game, handing the Broncos just their second loss of the season.
With just over three minutes remaining in the overtime period, Tony Carter had the ball hit him on a New England punt. The Patriots recovered, and with under two minutes left, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal for the win.
The Broncos (9-2) now travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in what will be a very important game next Sunday.
Final Score (OT)
Broncos - 31
Patriots - 34
|Positional Unit||First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
Week 12 vs. Patriots
Final Analysis for the Denver Broncos
Passing Offense: This wasn't the best night for Peyton Manning, as he completed just over half of his pass attempts. He also threw a critical interception to Logan Ryan and was off on several throws.
Passing Defense: Tom Brady found his groove in the second half and ended up with an impressive stat line. He threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns, taking advantage of the Broncos' injury-depleted secondary. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie didn't play in the second half, and the Broncos pass defense wasn't the same without him.
Rushing Offense: Knowshon Moreno put together the best performance of his career in defeat. Carrying the ball 37 times, Moreno gained 224 yards on the ground.
Rushing Defense: As a team, New England gained 116 yards rushing, but the Broncos held their ground, limiting them to just 3.7 yards per carry.
Special Teams: With the wind in the New England area, it was a challenge to field every ball. Though Carter will be the guy many blame for the error on the punt return, it was really on Wes Welker for not alerting him sooner.
Coaching: The Broncos continue to play at a high level without John Fox, but they had a hard time finding a way to match up on defense in the second half with all the players they were missing in this game.
First-Half Analysis for the Denver Broncos
Passing Offense: The elements are definitely playing a factor in this game, as it is very windy in Foxborough. Peyton Manning has his lowest passing total in the first half, throwing for just 61 yards. He did fit a perfect ball in to Jacob Tamme for a touchdown.
Passing Defense: Denver has harassed Tom Brady all night long with its pass rush. Von Miller has two of the Broncos' three sacks in the first half. The defense has held Brady to under five yards per completion.
Rushing Offense: Knowshon Moreno has looked great, ripping off good chunks of yardage on nearly every carry. In the first half, he already has 107 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Rushing Defense: New England has been its own worst enemy in this game, fumbling the ball three times in the first half. Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount each coughed up the ball once, leading to them being benched.
Special Teams: It has been said here before, but Trindon Holliday is almost a liability as a return man. Late in the second quarter, he couldn't get out of the way of a punt that bounced and hit him, leading to the Patriots getting one more play before the break. Holliday needs to work on his ball security.
Coaching: The turnovers have been the story of this game, but the Broncos have done a good job being a run-first team. On defense, the pressure in Brady's face has been a big story.