New England Patriots at Denver Broncos 1/19/14 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Denver Broncos 26, New England Patriots 16
January 19, 2014
Conference championship weekend got underway in the NFL Sunday with a highly-anticipated matchup between the Patriots and the Broncos. New England was coming into Denver fresh off a convincing victory over the Colts this past weekend and were playing an unusual underdog role here. Meanwhile, the Broncos took care of business against the Chargers last week and were ready to defend their home field once again. All things considered, however, this was a pretty one-sided affair for most of the ballgame but did get interesting late.
Let’s take a look at some of the key statistics and players from the game so that we can determine exactly why things turned out the way they did. Afterward, we’ll look ahead and see what’s in each team’s future.
What Happened: In a bit of a contrast to the expected offensive explosion, the defenses dictated the pace of the game in this one, and things started off relatively slowly. The first quarter was pretty quiet, with the only points coming on a 27-yard Matt Prater field goal for a 3-0 Denver lead.
The pace picked up somewhat in the second, with Denver finding the end zone on a 1-yard pass from Peyton Manning to Jacob Tamme after a long 93-yard drive midway through the quarter. New England was able to answer with a field goal, but the Broncos responded with a kick of their own. At the half, the score was 13-3 in favor of Denver. Once again, defense ruled in the third, with the lone score coming on a 3-yard TD pass from Manning to Demaryius Thomas for a 20-3 Broncos advantage.
In the fourth, Denver was able to get another field goal to extend their lead to 20. The Patriots finally got some offense going on an 80-yard drive, capped off by a 7-yard pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman. Denver would add yet another field goal in response for a 26-10 margin.
New England made things interesting with another impressive 80-yard drive for a TD on a Brady run, but couldn’t cap it off with a two-point conversion. The 26-16 margin would hold, and (like a lot of people expected at the beginning of the year), the Broncos are headed to the Super Bowl.
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The Stars: There were at ton of notable contributors on both sides of the ball for Denver, and they all had a big hand in this win. First, we’ll start with Peyton Manning, who was great as usual. He finished with a whopping 400 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns. Benefiting from that big effort was Demaryius Thomas, who tallied 134 yards and a score on seven grabs.
The ground game was also working pretty well, with Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball combining for 102 yards on 26 carries.
Defensively, the Broncos came up huge when they needed to, posting a pair of key drive-killing sacks that would prevent the Pats from scoring.
The Goats: On the flip side, the New England defense couldn’t get much of a push, with zero sacks on Manning and very little pressure overall. That power running game from last week was gone; The Patriots backs combined for just 64 yards on 16 carries.
Brady was pretty good statistically (24-of-38 for 277 and a score), but missed on a few very important throws in the first half.
Injuries: Both teams endured some injuries in this one: The Broncos have issues with Knowshon Moreno and Tony Carter, who both left the game.
The Patriots lost a key defensive contributor in Aqib Talib, which helps explain Demaryius Thomas’ big numbers.
Outlook: Manning is headed to his third Super Bowl--and his first with the Broncos. They’ll await the winner of the Seattle-San Francisco game, then begin the two weeks of preparation before the big one on February 2 at 6:30 PM ET on FOX.
Meanwhile, the Patriots will go back to the drawing board after falling short yet again. Look for a lot of off-season roster tinkering as they reload with healthy bodies for the 2014 campaign.
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