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Everyone in America has been hearing or talking about Tim Tebow nonstop for the past few weeks. The Patriots were apparently tired of hearing it.
Behind Tom Brady’s three touchdowns, two passing and one running, the New England Patriots put an end to Tebow’s string of late game comebacks and clinched a playoff spot in a 41-23 win over the Denver Broncos.
“It was a really good day for us,” Brady said. “Very emotional game. It was really rocking early. We showed some mental toughness.”
The Patriots were able to bounce back from a horrendous start that saw them fall behind 17-6 as Denver scored on its first three possessions. Denver outgained New England 167 to 4 in the first quarter.
But unfortunately for the Broncos, there was no late game heroics as the fast start eventually turned into a fizzle as they didn’t do anything for the rest of the game. Three late turnovers, something Denver had been limiting during their winning streak, was too much to overcome.
“We did have things going pretty well early, scored on the first three possessions and felt like we were moving the ball good and then we put it on the ground,” Tebow said. “That’s something you can’t do against a great team and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Besides that, we were right there with them.”
Denver still controls their own destiny, but the road to an AFC West title goes through Buffalo and Kansas City, who knocked off the undefeated Packers ending their 19 game winning streak.
Tebow finished 11 of 22 for 194 yards along with 93 yards on 12 carries for two touchdowns, but was sacked four times.
The Achilles heel for the Broncos seems to be elite passers as they are 1-4 this season against the likes of Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Philip Rivers. Their lack of offensive scoring punch doesn’t seem to allow them to keep up with the quarterbacks who can sling it all over the field.
“He’s still the best out there, in my opinion,” Bailey said of Tom Brady. “And you make mistakes against a guy like that, he’s going to make you pay. That’s pretty much what happened all day.”
Brady finished 23 of 34 for 320 yards the two scores, one of which was to Ochocinco who found the end zone for the first time this season on a 33 yard reception. Brady again was able to pick up his subpar defense which gave up 167 yards on the ground in just the first quarter.
After falling behind the Patriots went into hurry up mode and Brady was able to find Aaron Hernandez from 1 yard out. Hernandez had a career game hauling in 9 passes for 129 yards.
The Broncos made things close late when Tebow scored on a keeper from 2 yards out to pull them to 34-23, but that’s when Tom Brady did what he does best, and led the Patriots down the field on a 80 yard clock draining scoring drive culminated by BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ 1 yard touchdown to put them up for good.
“The more we fight, the better this team gets,” defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said. “We knew they were going to come out fighting. They were going to come out fast and explosive. Our main goal was to weather the storm.”
The Patriots finish out the season against Miami and Buffalo as they look to secure the top seed in the AFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Image Courtesy by Aaron Frutman