Sunday night, the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots were set to give the world a primetime show for the ages. Little did they know, it would have all the twists and turns that we saw take place. From the get-go, it was Denver’s game to lose. But as the night went on, things changed drastically.
As Peyton Manning and the Broncos put up the first 24 points of the game and shut out Tom Brady and his Patriots in the first half, many thought the Broncos were on their way to a convincing blowout win; further securing their placee amongst the AFC’s elite. It wasn’t a lot of Manning, but the defense and run game that got it going.
In the second half, the Patriots outscored the Broncos 31-0 up until the last couple of minutes in the fourth quarter. Manning led the Broncos on a game-tying drive to set up overtime as he hit DeMaryius Thomas in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
In overtime, Patriots coach Bill Belichick decided to take the wind instead of the ball after New England won the coin toss — a very Belichick-like move that would wind up working in the end. As the teams traded the ball back and forth for most of the period, punting a couple of times each, the ball ended up in the hands of Manning for one final drive.
Or so we thought that was going to be the case.
Wes Welker was back to receive a punt with just about two minutes to go when the punt dropped suddenly and touched Tony Carter of the Broncos. The Patriots fell on it and ultimately wound up winning on the leg of Stephen Gostkowski, 34-31.
You better believe the Kansas City Chiefs and their fan base were cheering louder than even some of the Patriots fans there at Gillette Stadium. The Chiefs also lost Sunday to the San Diego Chargers, falling to 9-2 and with a loss, the Broncos are still tied with Kansas City record-wise.
Kansas City now still has plenty of hope for a division title as the two teams meet next Sunday for the second time in three weeks. The AFC title remains wide open and Denver is going to have to work even harder after this loss in order to secure home field advantage in the postseason.