This was supposed to be a summary of a meeting of two AFC powerhouses.
Instead I find myself writing a police report as a crime wave hit Sports Authority Field last night where an experienced Head Coach tried to intimidate a young quarterback and pressure him into making choices, that in his heart, he knew would be wrong.
Brady and Gronkowski had the gall to trespass on Denver’s End Zone, on their first possession no less, after Colquitt was caught once again impersonating a punter.
As an epic battle unfolded, there was carnage all over the field and players from both sides were left battered and bruised with detectives looking for evidence of an illicit deal with a certain Miss Lady Luck as Denver twice recovered their own fumbles.
Everywhere you looked there was fighting. Fowler, Daniels, Anderson and Hillman all culpable of trying to coax extra yards out of their legs.
One of Denver’s star players, Demaryius Thomas, was posted missing and the officials aided and abetted the Broncos as they stole a victory from under the noses of Patriots – robbing Boston’s finest of another historic run at perfection and immortality.
The verdict has been returned and Your Honour; Denver are guilty!
- Guilty of being able to win ugly.
- Guilty of grinding out yards against – what was once – the league’s best scoring defense.
- Guilty of capitalising on good fortune and sticking it to the Patriots.
For years to come, some will, no doubt, end up behind bars. They will be drinking merrily and regaling stories of the time Brock’s Broncos downed the Patriots in overtime on a snowy winter’s night.
Despite Coach Kubiak removing a Pistol from Denver’s arsenal, they still managed to shoot themselves in the foot. A second interception of Brock’s season off a tipped pass led to yet another short field for New England and Brady connected with Chandler to take a 14 point lead.
Denver cracked under New England’s aerial assault (Belichick all but abandoned the run game in the 1st half), but did not crumble. Somehow they willed themselves back into the game. They stayed true to their possession controlled offense and Brock orchestrated a 77 yard, 10 play drive with Ronnie Hillman finally breaking free of his shackles to slam home a 19 yard run to close the gap at the half.
The despicable Belichick and his loyal minion McDaniels retreated to their lair and sought to make the necessary adjustments to complete their Mile High Heist. They want to exploit the weaknesses in Denver’s defense after the unit were denied the services of TJ Ward and Sylvester Williams, both bulleted in the exact same play.
The 3rd quarter proved to be the quiet before the storm but it all exploded in the first play of the 4th quarter when Brady hit Brandon Bolden and he bullied the Broncos’ Bolden to saunter unwelcomed and unauthorised past the home team’s goal line.
A daring escape from Alcatraz seemed more possible than the Broncos getting back into the game after the offense 3 and out-ted on their next possession.
Yet Cody Latimer mugged the rookie Chris Harper on the ensuing punt and Barrett concealed the evidence by smothering the ball. Eye witnesses would later claim it was justice for the muffed punt that cost Denver so dearly in Foxborough two seasons ago. CJ put the filing in the cake, slicing through the Patriots for 15 yards to sneak another 6 points on the scoreboard.
Brady answered in style with a 51 yard play on a 3rd and 11 only to see it negated by Big Tony. Mr Corrente was ever so vigilant to spot a soft holding call on Rookie Trey Jackson.
The Broncos faltered in the red zone on their next possession and settled for a field goal to bring them within four.
Yet another 3rd down was nullified by the second offensive holding penalty called on the Gronk. He was adjudged to have invaded the personal space of Denver’s relief safety Brunton though eyewitness accounts and opinions varied wildly. His first flag of the night also cost the Patriots dearly as it offset a Bronco penalty for pass interference.
Things only got worse for No.87 when he was whacked by Darian Stewart and taken out altogether. To be fair, no one on the field or in the stadium took any pleasure in the devastating hit which neutralised the Tight End Problem once and for.
After searching all night and just before the milk cartons adorned with his face hit the shelves, Osweiler finally located Demaryius Thomas and on his 12th target of the night, DT managed to haul in a 36 yard pass to put Denver in striking distance.
Denver’s Red Zone Offense grinded to a halt once again when Brock absorbed yet another sack. Facing the prospect of a 3 and goal from the 19, the black and white striped friendly neighbourhood watch spotted another infringement. Or was it an impingement? Regardless, it warranted Denver a new set of downs from 14 yards closer. With just over a minute left in the game, Brock hooked up with Andre Caldwell to pickpocket Brady’s Pats.
Not quite. Despite more help from the officials to try to con the Patriots out of time, the now nearly weaponless Brady managed to snatch a tie in regulation by setting up a clutch kick for Stephen Gostkowski.
New England won the toss and elected to receive possession but the quarterback was harassed and abused by a resurgent and menacing pass rush. A poor punt, a recurring theme of the night, gave Denver excellent field position.
The Broncos were faced with a 3 and 1 at midfield and a copycat play proved to be the downfall of the Patriots as CJ Anderson spilled outside and jay-walked untouched into the history books.
Brady screamed orange and blue murder but Gary Kubiak had the courage of his convictions and it sentenced New England to their lone defeat of the season.
All in all it was perfection.