We got what we asked for: Sunday night’s showdown between the Broncos and Patriots was classic Manning vs. Brady — and so much more.
But ultimately, it was a guy most of use never heard of who ruined the ending this one seemed destined for, essentially handing New England a 34-31 win in OT.
There was the first half, where Peyton Manning attempted just 14 passes, threw for only 61 yards — and had the Broncos sitting on a 24-0 lead. (OK, Knowshon Moreno’s 107 yards and a score, and New England’s six fumbles had Denver sitting pretty.
Then there was New England storming back with 31 points in less than 19 minutes to take the lead, before the Broncos tied the game to force OT with 3:06 left in regulation.
Ultimately, we saw a total of 65 points, 59 first downs, 852 net yards and 11 fumbles in freezing temperatures. Neither team would back down in overtime, trading punches and refusing to give an inch.
What a game.
It’s a shame it had to end on such a goofy play.
Facing a fourth-and 13 from their own 42, the Patriots punted with 3:11 left in the extra period, setting up what looked like Manning with one last chance to pull out the win or we would get our second tie of the day. Wes Welker, back in New England for the first time and returning punts because normal return man Trindon Holliday had already fumbled a punt, backed away from the ball when it landed. But it bounced up and caught Broncos special teamer Tony Carter’s foot, making it a live ball. The Patriots pounced on it at the Denver 13-yard line. Check it out:
Here’s another angle:
First down, Patriots. Three plays later, Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 31-yard field goal
If Tony Carter is blockin fa the returner, how the hell does he kno the ball is short (to get out the way) unless Welker gives him the call