Denver Broncos at New England Patriots 11/24/13 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: New England Patriots 34, Denver Broncos 31
November 24, 2013
The Week 12 matchup on “Sunday Night Football” was the one everybody was looking forward to. The Broncos, fresh off a Week 11 win against their divisional rival (and previously undefeated) Chiefs, came into Foxboro to face a Patriots team that was still stinging from a controversial loss to the Panthers. What resulted was an entertaining, crazy game that NFL fans will be talking about all week.
Let’s take a closer look at the statistics and key players from the game so that we can figure out why things panned out the way they did. We’ll also glance forward to Week 13 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: It was a tale of two halves for the Patriots. They couldn’t do anything right in the first, losing fumbles on their first three possessions and encountering a chorus of boos from the home crowd as their offense stalled. Meanwhile, the Broncos running game tore up the clock and the scoreboard, building a 24-0 lead at halftime on the strength of touchdowns from Vonn Miller (fumble return), Knowshon Moreno (2-yard run) and Jacob Tamme (10-yard pass).
After the break, the Patriots dug in and staked their comeback bid. The third quarter was all New England, as they posted 21 points on touchdowns from Julian Edelman (5-yard pass), Brandon Bolden (1-yard run) and Rob Gronkowski (6-yard pass). They didn’t stop in the fourth, adding another Edelman TD and a field goal for 31 unanswered points and a 31-24 lead.
Peyton Manning was able to pull the Broncos together late in the fourth, engineering an 11-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas to tie the game and ultimately send it into overtime at 31-31.
After winning the coin toss, Pats coach Bill Belichick opted to defer, and chose to position his team with the wind at their backs. It was a brave call, but ultimately paid off. The Broncos couldn’t get into reasonable field goal range in the extra period, and each team traded punts.
The key play came on a muffed punt by Denver with just over three minutes left. The ball bounced off a Broncos player and the Pats recovered deep in opposing territory. A short Stephen Gostkowski field goal would seal the win for New England 34-31 and cap off one of the wildest games of the season so far.
With the win, the Patriots improve to 8-3, while the Broncos fall to 9-2.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Stars: Tom Brady had an awful first half, but redeemed himself in the second. He completed over 80 percent of his passes in the third and fourth quarters, resulting in a 34-of-50 line for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Julian Edelman (110 yards, two touchdowns) and Rob Gronkowski (90 yards, one touchdown) were the big contributors in the passing game.
On the other side, Knowshon Moreno was a monster, carrying 37 times for 224 yards and a touchdown.
We’ll also put Stephen Gostkowski here, as he nailed both his field goals in another clutch performance.
The Goats: It feels weird putting Manning in a “goat” category, but it fits. He had an ugly game by his standards, with just 150 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception. Prepare yourself to hear all sorts of conversations about how he “can’t play in cold weather,” because that’s all anyone will be talking about this week. Manning is now 3-8 in his career during games where the temperature is below freezing at kickoff.
Speaking of the weather, it had a heavy hand here. No one could hang onto the football, and it resulted in a combined 11 fumbles.
Injuries: We may have an issue with Moreno. He was reportedly spotted with crutches and a walking boot after the game, and if he’s injured it would put quite a damper on the Broncos’ running game. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Kevin Vickerson also left early.
Outlook: The Broncos have another highly-anticipated matchup awaiting in Week 13. They’ll head to Kansas City for a rematch with the Chiefs in a game with some huge playoff implications. (Sunday, December 1, 4:25 PM ET on CBS.)
As for the Patriots, they’ll hit the road and head down to Houston for a matchup against the Texans. (Sunday, December 1, 1:00 PM ET on CBS.)
For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.