The New England Patriots were facing the Denver Broncos with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. With just one field goal left, the team elected to take an intentional safety rather than punt. This gave the Patriots better field position and the defensive stop they needed to tie the game. However, they also lost a fumble and went three-and-out. The Patriots finally started a drive beyond their 40-yard line, and scored the game-winning touchdown with David Givens’ fumble.
The New England Patriots used their gifted tight end, Aaron Hernandez, as a tailback. In the game against the Broncos, they scored 41 points. Hernandez caught nine passes for 129 yard and a touchdown. Rob Gronkowski added eight catches for 97 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. Despite the loss, Brady was still the league’s leading passer. However, the game’s outcome did not affect his coaching ability.
The Patriots and Broncos have had several meetings over the years. They played twice per year during the AFL era. They played their first game on September 9, 1960. They have been playing each other every day since 1995, including five times in the playoffs. The Patriots won three of the five games, while the Broncos won four. This will be the first AFC Championship Game for the Broncos since they won Super Bowl XXXVI.
While the Patriots are favored to win, the Broncos must take advantage of their weak points. Denver’s defense can force turnovers and limit Tom Brady’s throws towards the end zone. Denver’s secondary must also be effective against Rob Gronkowski. Rob Gronkowski must be limited to between 70 and 80 yards by the Broncos. As always, the Broncos must control the middle of the field to gain the upper-hand.
Tom Brady’s passing game continues to rumble through Denver’s defense. Denver’s offense struggles to contain the Patriots’ offense and turnovers cost them the game. The Patriots ran for more than 250 yards, making the Broncos vulnerable from both sides of the ball. Although Brady is the Patriots’ quarterback they can’t be ruled out if Tom Brady can run the ball.
Denver’s offense was in disarray after the Broncos’ collapse of their huddle in the first quarter. Denver’s starter, Tim Tebow completed only nine of 26 passes for just 136 yards. The Patriots had six touchdown passes before halftime, and Brady was able to operate his offense without a huddle. This problem was exacerbated by the Broncos’ mismatches with the Patriots’ pass defence.