New England Patriots overcome
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New England Patriots overcome
By nugent05 on Jan 15, 2014 03:27 AM
New England Patriots overcome early deficit to defeat Broncos in overtime
For the second straight week, the New England Patriots were engaged in a tight scoring affair with one of the better teams in the NFL. This go around, however, it was the Patriots who were the victors, although they took a most unconventional route in winning Sunday's contest 34 31 in overtime against the Denver Broncos. The win over the Broncos demonstrated once again that the Patriots are an incredibly resilient team. Additionally, they might also be on the cusp of being a dominant one.
To attain their eighth win of the season, the Patriots first had to overcome their own bad luck with fumble recoveries. In a reverse of what happened to the Broncos in last year's match up between these two teams, it was the Patriots who lost their first three fumbles of the contest, mistakes on which the Broncos were all too happy to capitalize.
Off of those three fumbles, all occurring in the first quarter of the contest, the Broncos scored 17 points. Stevan Ridley's fumble, his fourth of the season and one that got him benched for the duration of the contest, was scooped up by Von Miller and returned 60 yards for the Broncos' first score of the game. A strip sack of Brady gifted the Broncos the ball on the Patriots' 10 yard line, and the Broncos only needed two plays to score a touchdown off that Patriots turnover. Finally, LeGarrette Blount's second carry of the game, and also his last of the game since he was benched just like Ridley, became a fumble that the Broncos recovered on the Patriots' 44 yard line; the Broncos still gained an unimpressive 35 yards in 10 plays before settling for a 27 yard field goal.
With that run of bad luck when it came to fumble recovery, which was corrected later in the game with the Patriots recovering their next three fumbles, the Patriots spotted the Broncos a quick, and it seemed commanding, 17 0 lead in the first quarter. After Matt Prater's field goal gave them that 17 0 edge, the Broncos held a win probability of 0.94; the victory seemed theirs after only the first quarter of play.
However, the lead mostly served to mask how little the Broncos had actually accomplished on offense to that point. While the Broncos did stage an impressive 11 play, 80 yard touchdown drive to go up 24 0, made all the more exceptional after they used a screen pass to running back Montee Ball, which gained 31 yards, to convert a first down when facing 3rd and 20, the truth is the offense spent the majority of the first half sputtering. On their other three possessions, the Broncos ran 16 plays and only amassed 63 yards on those drives.
Since the vast majority of the offensive success the Broncos experienced in the first half arose out of the turnovers by the Patriots (four turnovers on eight first half possessions), it stood to reason that once the Patriots cut out the turnovers, they would stand a good chance of being able to claw their way back into the contest, provided the offense could execute better in the second half.
That is exactly what happened in the second half, and the Patriots wasted no time demonstrating to the audience the second half was going to unfold a lot more differently than the first half had. On their first possession of the second half, the Patriots marched 80 yards in eight plays to score a touchdown and began chipping away at the Broncos' lead. On that drive, Brady completed all seven of his pass attempts for 76 yards.
Their third possession of the second quarter also saw them motor their way down the field in efficient fashion, only needing five plays to gain 65 yards and add their third touchdown of the game to go up 21 0. Brady, on that drive, completed three of his four pass attempts for 63 yards.
The Patriots also scored touchdowns on their second and fourth possessions of the second quarter, as the Broncos, in an admirable bit of sportsmanship, decided to return the first half favor of the Patriots and start providing some turnovers on which their opponent could capitalize. A fumble recovery on the Broncos' 32 yard line and an interception on the Broncos' 30 yard line provided the start for touchdown drives during which the Patriots gained an efficient 62 yards on 8 plays.
The Patriots also added a field goal on their fifth possession of the second half, to give the team a 31 24 lead Danny Amendola Jersey and a win probability of 0.87.
Their comeback was made possible by the stout work of the defense in the second half. The Patriots defense held the Broncos to 134 yards on 33 plays over the final two quarters of the contest, and even those figures are skewed because of the lone touchdown drive the Broncos had in the second half when they gained 79 yards in 10 plays. Remove that drive from the equation and the Broncos offense was beyond anemic with an average of 2.4 yards per play.
Still, even though I can remove the drive to prove a point about the stoutness of the Patriots defense in the second half, those seven points did count on the scoreboard and tied the game at 31 31 with 3:06 Danny Amendola Jersey Authentic left in the contest; neither team accomplished anything of note during the final minutes of the regulation period, sending the game into overtime.
One of the biggest issues with coming back from a huge deficit like the one the Patriots faced, outside of finding a way to score enough points to make the comeback possible in the first place, is that the team holding the lead has to score a lot fewer points to keep from falling behind or to maintain control of the contest. The Patriots had to score 31 points to wrest the lead from the Broncos while the Broncos only had to score seven to force www.nflpatriotsofficialonline.com/80+Danny+Amendola+Jersey+Cheap.html overtime.
In overtime, though, both teams were back on equal footing and after neither team scored a touchdown on their first possessions, they found themselves in a situation where the next points would provide the winning margin. Fittingly, considering the two teams combined to lose six of their 11 fumbles in the game, the Patriots scored their game winning field goal after a muffed punt by the Broncos in the waning minutes of the overtime period when the two teams ending in a tie did not seem out of the realm of possibilities.
The last of those fumbles gave the Patriots possession of the ball on the Broncos' 13 yard line with 3:01 Danny Amendola Jersey Womens left in overtime. Already in prime position to kick a game winning field goal, the Patriots did not waste any time trying to gain any extra yardage, and instead elected for the strategy of placing the ball in the middle of the field to make the field goal attempt easier for kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Gostkowski probably had no need of this thoughtful gesture from his teammates, but he did show his gratitude by easily converting a 31 yard field goal to secure the 34 31 victory for the Patriots.
The Patriots still lack a dominant point differential in their contests, but as their win on Sunday demonstrated, the team does have the capability of unseating a team that has been more dominant and more impressive. All they need are the right circumstances.