Patriots vs. Broncos: Live Blog

The 6-2 Patriots welcome the 6-1 Denver Broncos to Foxboro for a Sunday afternoon showdown that will likely decide the top seed in the AFC playoffs. The weather is cold and there is snow on the ground which means one thing- the real games begin. Stay with us for what is sure to be an instant classic.

4:11 P.M.- Welcome to Foxboro! It's a cold and windy day here in New England and that could play a part in the game. Let's take a look at the inactives for the Patriots and Broncos.

Patriots Inactives: G Jordan Devey, CB Alfonzo Dennard, OL Connor Fleming, S Nate Ebner, WR Aaron Dobson, OL Chris Barker, DE Chandler Jones

Broncos Inactives: RB Montee Ball, RB Kapri Bibbs, S Quinton Carter, LB Steven Johnson, G Ben Garland, T Michael Schofield, TE Virgil Green

*Recent Patriot additions DL Alan Branch and LB Jonathan Casillas are active today.

4:25 P.M.-Cold and windy here in Foxboro. The Broncos will have the ball first and Peyton Manning will attempt to throw through 36 MPH winds.

4:30 P.M.- The Patriots open with their Big Nickel, a defense that Belichick has been trying to put in use for almost a decade. As I mentioned in the preview, Browner is matched up on Julius Thomas. Three and out, Patriots offense ready to take over.

4:32 P.M.- The Patriots get a first down but Brady and Lafell couldn't connect on what should have been a 50 yard touchdown. The offensive line gave Brady good time on the drive; he has to make that throw to Lafell.

4:36 P.M.- Another three-and-out for the Broncos. Peyton Manning is quickly learning that this secondary is VASTLY improved and today is going to be a major challenge for the Denver passing offense.

4:41 P.M.- Stephen Gostkowski connects on a 49-yard field goal and the Patriots take advantage of the Broncos special teams penalty. Brady hit Edelman on a 3rd and six, but Edelman couldn't shake his man and was tackled immediately. Patriots 3, Broncos 0

4:51 P.M.- The Broncos get their obligatory pass interference and are handed a touchdown. Brandon Browner was called for the pass interference, which isn't a surprise. That was not a good drive for Darrelle Revis. Broncos 7, Patriots 3.

5:05 P.M.- Gostkowski comes in and hits a 29-yard field goal, but that is not what the Patriots were looking for. Brandon Lafell dropped a touchdown that would have given New England the lead. The Patriots offense needs to get it together and start scoring touchdowns. Broncos 7, Patriots 6

5:09 P.M.- Big interception by Rob Ninkovich and the Patriots offense takes over at the Broncos 34.

5:13 P.M.- The Patriots take advantage of the turnover and finally punch it in for the touchdown. Julian Edelman made the touchdown catch from five yards out and the score is now Patriots 13, Broncos 7.

5:25 P.M.- The defense steps up again and Julian Edelman made the Broncos pay by returning the punt for a touchdown(called it in the preview) to make the score Patriots 20, Broncos 7.

5:36 P.M.- No good! McManus hits the upright and the Broncos squander a scoring opportunity. Kyle Arrington stepped up and made two plays to prevent the Broncos from continuing their drive. Patriots 20, Broncos 7

5:40 P.M.- Three-and-out for the Patriots offense. Brady took a big hit on third down but appeared more angry than hurt doe to the hit being a little overboard.

5:46 P.M.- Denver gets greedy and attempts to go for it on 4th and six, but it doesn't pay off as Akeem Ayers comes up with the big sack to force the turnover on downs. Manning has hit some throws, but once he gets to the 35, the defense tightens up. Brady and the offense takes over.

5:59 P.M.- Shane Vereen makes the catch for the five yard touchdown and the Patriots offense continues their excellent run that is going past a month now. The Broncos get the ball with eight seconds to go in the half. Patriots 27, Broncos 7


6:20 P.M.- Not a good start to the second half for Brady and the Patriots. Brady threw an interception on third-and-ten and the Broncos take over at their own 43.

6:26 P.M.- Julius Thomas with the subtle push-off on Patrick Chung which results in an 18-yard touchdown catch for the gifted tight end. The Patriots offense needs to answer or this game is going to get close very quickly.

6:35 P.M.- Stephen Gostkowski drills the 45-yard field goal and the Patriots take advantage of a converted fourth and five. Brandon Lafell has had some big drops tonight and he needs to fix that. Patriots 30, Broncos 14

6:40 P.M.- Brandon Browner is in the right place at the right time and comes up with the Welker deflection. Browner returned it to the ten to set up the offense again.

6:41 P.M.- Touchdown, Patriots! Brandon Lafell picks up his fifth touchdown catch of the season and the Patriots cash in on another turnover. Patriots 37, Broncos 14

6:52 P.M.- Peyton Manning leads the Broncos down the field and they answer the Patriots again, this time with Ronnie Hillman making the touchdown catch. There is no doubt that the Broncos will continue to score so New England needs to keep their foot on the gas. This game is going to turn into an offense-fest. Patriots 37, Broncos 21

7:04 P.M.- That's three quarters in the books and the Patriots hold onto a 16-point lead. Brady and the offense continue to drive and a touchdown here could put this one away.

7:11 P.M.- There was no way Brady wasn't going to Gronk on that play after the amazing catch he made to get them down to the one. New England went for two, which makes sense trying to make it a 24 point lead, but Julian Edelman couldn't get in. Patriots 43, Broncos 21

7:19 P.M.- The Patriots defense shows serious character after allowing Manning and the offense to walk down the field on three plays. Once again, the defense tightened up in the red zone and forced the turnover on downs. Patrick Chung has had a strong game tonight.

7:22 P.M.- That may be the worst play calling I've seen in a long time. It's one thing to stay aggressive, it's another to play stupid. Run the ball! Josh McDaniels just handed the Broncos another possession. Ridiculous.

7:29 P.M.- New England' defense has given up some big plays, but that is to be expected facing this awesome Bronco offense. Overall, they have made huge plays on third down, got a pass rush early which helped get the lead up, and they've forced three turnovers on downs. Great work tonight by the D.

7:38 P.M.- Bill Belichick tried to attempt some shenanigans but to no avail when the refs held the offense up and allowed the defense to setup. Good try, Bill.

7:46 P.M.- ANOTHER turnover on downs for the Broncos. The Patriots defense has been very good today against one of the best offenses EVER in the NFL. As they continue to have these strong games against great offenses, their confidence will grow. It's safe to say the Patriots are a serious Super Bowl contender; they look like the best team in the NFL.

7:55 P.M.- Peyton Manning comes back on the field for the final 1:42 in a 22 point game, which seems like stat-padding time. They did run the ball and run out the clock, but why even risk putting him out there in a decided game? Odd maneuver by John Fox.

7:58 P.M.- The clock reads :00 and the Patriots are now sitting atop the AFC after throttling the Broncos. There was a lot to like in this game and Patriot fans should be very excited. Thanks again for watching the game with us and we'll see you in two weeks.

Final Score: Patriots 43, Broncos 21

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