The Denver Broncos had to battle more in this game than they have in years. They had to battle rumors about their unstable quarterback situation. They had to battle one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career. They had to battle an undefeated New England Patriots team many consider to be the best in the NFL, and for the first time in more than a decade, they had to do it all in the middle of a snowstorm.
They shocked in world, defeating the New England Patriots 30-24 in an instant classic that may be looked at in the future as the game that cemented Brock Osweiler as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
Osweiler began the night battling rumors about Peyton Manning desire to return to the starting lineup, and ended the night leading the Broncos on an 83-yard touchdown drive to take the lead with under two minutes minutes left in the game.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High erupted as Osweiler dropped back and tossed a touchdown strike to Andre Caldwell to tie the game. It capped off an evening filled with ups and downs for Osweiler and the Broncos that marked one of the genuine classics in Broncos history.
The Broncos have not started a game more slowly in some time, falling behind 21-7 at the start of the fourth quarter. Osweiler led a furious comeback, taking that late lead before Tom Brady brought the Patriots down the field to score a late field goal, forcing overtime.
As the snow continued to fall on a cold rocky mountain night, the New England Patriots received an overtime kick-off. For the first time in the game, the Broncos defense forced significant pressure on Brady, sacking him twice on the series. Brady struggled to find open weapons following a knee injury to tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Forced to punt, the Patriots gave Brock and the Broncos another chance to win the game. They took advantage. C.J. Anderson made one of the best plays of the season, striding and side-stepping his way to a 48-yard touchdown run that ended the game. “I don’t know what happened,” Anderson said. “The hole opened up, and I just cut it open and cut it through.”
Osweiler finished the night 23/42 for 270-yards with one touchdown and a tipped ball turned interception. “I didn’t go 2-0 tonight,” Osweiler said. “This team went 2-0.” The Broncos will need Osweiler to further cement himself as the starter going forward as Denver takes on the San Diego Chargers next week.