On the heels of the New England Patriots 41-23 victory over the Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon it would be very easy to praise the heroics of quarterback Tom Brady, but there is much more to this story. The reigning NFL MVP certainly outplayed his opponent, but it was the Broncos and their star quarterback, Tim Tebow, who nearly handed the Patriots the win with mistake after mistake. Tebow is after all human, despite theories suggesting otherwise.
The Brady versus Tebow matchup was hyped more than any other game during the week with even some of the most respected experts across the National Football League suggesting that the Tebow Train would roll right over the Patriots. Instead, it looked more like a train wreck.
Despite an impressive opening drive in which Tebow led the Broncos to a touchdown, things soured quickly for Denver when they failed to convert on the extra point. Brady took over and used less than three minutes to answer with a touchdown of his own. His 33-yard pass met the hands of Chad Ochocinco for the score.
Denver went on to add a touchdown run from Lance Ball and a 26-yard field goal from Matt Prater to go up 16-7. At that point, the Broncos appeared promising in taking down the Patriots but New England capitalized on three turnovers by Denver plus stellar plays of their own to add 27-unanswered points for the win.
Taking some of the load off of oft-used tight end Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez was Brady’s favorite target in the game catching nine passes for 129 yards. Hernandez also added a touchdown when he grabbed a one-yarder in the second quarter. Tom Brady ran the ball in himself for another score while kicker Stephen Gostkowski added two field goals and connected on both PATs.
The Patriots continued to roll over the Tebows in the third with Danny Woodhead scoring a touchdown on a 10-yard run. Tebow gave the crowd at Mile High some late hope with a quick touchdown drive in the final quarter but the Patriots answered right back with a score from a one-yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
On the night, Brady completed 23-of-34 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 117.3. Tim Tebow, who was also mocked in a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit, connected on only 11-of-22 passes for 194 yards and a passer rating of 80.5. He also added two rushing touchdowns.
Quite simply, the Broncos simply were no match for the Patriots, who improved to 11-3 and clinched the AFC East division with the victory. Brady remained humble as always in his post-game comments, praising his teammates and opponents.
“This is a good Denver Bronco team, and we focused all week on our job and what we had to do,” Brady said. “Obviously Tim’s had a great year. They’re in first place in their division; they’ve had a very good season, also. We knew it was going to be a 60-minute game. I thought we really played well for all 60 minutes for the first time all season.”