It’s Brady vs. Manning – Episode 16….with WEATHER ELEMENTS AND 36 MPH WINDS…
4:25 – Denver offense is out first with Wonder Boy at the helm….Two runs, delay of game, an incomplete pass and a punt. Uncharacteristic from the mighty Denver O.
4:32 – Brady and the Pats grab a first down but Brady misses on a long throw to LaFell that may have been grabbed by the wind slightly…or at least long enough for LaFell to stretch out to dive.
4:36 – Another three and out by the Broncos. Good play by Browner to break up pass intended for Thomas. BTW, the Broncos are essentially why Revis/Browner are in New England. You’ve got to deal with Peyton to get out of the AFC.
4:42 – New England fails to generate anything on the next possession but a costly fair catch interference penalty on the Broncos sets up NE with a FG opportunity despite the inability to move the ball. Gostkowski time.
PATRIOTS 3, BRONCOS 0
4:52 – Following a slow start, Denver goes 80 yards into the wind to grab a lead. The biggest play was a third down pass interference call against Browner as he defended DeMaryius Thomas. Ronnie Hillman takes full advantage with a score.
BRONCOS 7, PATRIOTS 3
Peyton Manning celebrates in the end zone…
Alright, maybe not but you get the point. Denver leads.
5:02 – Pats on the move as the first quarter ends. And yes, TJ Ward and Rob Gronkowski are re-acquainted after Ward tore up Gronk’s ACL last season as a Brown. Ward hasn’t approached Bernard Pollard status yet but another knockout blow would welcome him to the club.
END OF 1ST: BRONCOS 7, PATRIOTS 3
5:05 – LaFell drops a touchdown pass from Brady as he rolled over on a third down play. Whoops. Time for Gostkowski. THIS IS NO COUNTRY FOR FIELD GOALS.
BRONCOS 7, PATRIOTS 6
5:09 – Uh oh. Peyton throws his first INT of the day to Rob Ninkovich. Pats pitching a tent in Broncos territory to start next drive.
5:13 – Pats finally take advantage of good fortune. Brady to Welker Lite (Edelman) for six and the lead.
PATRIOTS 13, BRONCOS 7
5:24 – Broncos get things moving on a throw to Thomas but a holding call murders the drive.
5:25 – Colquitt almost has his punt blocked but no worries…EDELMAN RUNS IT BACK 84 YARDS TO THE HOUSE. Gillette goes berserk. Simms is right…questionable block in the back missed.
PATRIOTS 20, BRONCOS 7
All of a sudden, we have an interesting situation developing in Foxborough.
5:37 – Another Denver drive rolls into New England territory. Once again though, Broncos get put in a 3rd and long closing in on the red zone. After failing to convert, kicker Brandon McManus shanks a FG attempt off the right upright with the wind at his back…
5:47 – Broncos end up in Patriots-land again and go for it on a 4th and 6 but the drive ends thanks to a sack by newly-acquired linebacker Akeem Ayers. He goes slightly low on Manning, which nearly causes Jim Nantz to fall out of the booth.
5:54 – Pats convert a 2nd and 20 into the wind. Oh boy.
5:56 – Julian Edelman scores for a third time on the day except he doesn’t as it’s overturned after replay revealed little Welker dropped the ball.
6:01 – Moments later, Brady to Vereen for 6. Another good point by Simms. A lot of these guys that couldn’t get open in January’s AFC title game are now open.
The difference? GRONK.
PATRIOTS 27, BRONCOS 7
HALFTIME: New England is up 20 and vastly outplaying the Broncos. It could be worse considering the Pats missed two touchdown plays in the opening quarter. Belichick is coaching the pants off of John Fox. That’s trouble with Denver. When Fox has to get down and fix something….meh, good luck with that.
6:21 – John Fox and Jack Del Rio make an adjustment and start blitzing Brady, which eventually yields New England’s first turnover – an interception by rookie defensive back Bradley Roby.
Denver is going to score a TD here. It can’t be this easy for the Patriots.
6:26 – Hey remember, Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas? Ah yes, he made it to the game finally. He hauls in an 18-yard TD.
PATRIOTS 27, BRONCOS 14
Here we go…
6:36 – Pats are fighting themselves a bit with drops and questionable execution on the next drive. However, they put together a 10+ play drive that culminates in a third Gostkowski field goal.
PATRIOTS 30, BRONCOS 14
Peyton still has some fight in him…not quite time to add to this reel:
6:42 – it’s getting to be about that time for Wes Welker…drops a pass, which is promptly intercepted by Brandon Browner. Brady wastes little time and finally connects with Brandon LaFell for 6.
PATRIOTS 37, BRONCOS 14
The fat lady is getting ready to sing…
6:55 – Denver answers with a touchdown pass to Ronnie Hillman. Sorry, Nell. Report back to the dressing room.
PATRIOTS 37 BRONCOS 21
7:03 – Denver’s D just can’t get third down stops. A New England drive heads into Broncos territory as the third quarter comes to an end.
END OF 3RD: PATRIOTS 37, BRONCOS 21
7:14 – A sensational one-handed catch by Rob Gronkowski sets up a goal to go for the Pats. One play later, Brady to Gronk from a yard out.
PATRIOTS 43, BRONCOS 21
7:15 – Of course, down 22, Manning starts making crazy throws to put Denver in scoring positions.
7:20 – Denver runs out of gas or Jacob Tamme unsuccessfully tries to push off in the end zone on a fourth down play…whichever you prefer.
7:30 – Yup, Nell. It’s time. Sorry for the false alarm earlier.
8:00 – It’s all over in Foxborough…Despite Belichick’s best efforts including throwing the ball well into the fourth quarter, the Pats have to settle for only scoring 43 points. How deflating. I wanted that 50 burger for them.
FINAL: PATRIOTS 43, BRONCOS 21