2016 Week 15 : Patriots ( 16 ) @ Denver Broncos ( 3 )
The Patriots faced the Denver Broncos in a rematch of the previous season's AFC Championship game. The Broncos won the coin toss and elected to kick. Beginning at their own 24, the Patriots went were unable to get a first down causing them to punt. Unluckily for the Broncos, during Ryan Allen's punt Jordan Norwood muffed the punt and the Patriots obtained it with a Jonathan Jones recovery. The Patriots began at the Denver' 31. Unfortunately for the Patriots, they were unable to get a first down and were forced to settle with a Stephen Gostkowski 45-yard field goal for 3 points. The Broncos began the ball on their own 25 on the next possession. They started off well with a 13-yard run by Justin Forsett. However, they were unable to get a first down. On the Patriots next drive, they began at their own 15. On the beginning of the first play, an illegal formation was called on the Patriots forcing them to move back 5-yards. Once again, they went three and out unable to acquire a first down. The Patriots punted and the Broncos began at their own 38. This time, they managed to get a field goal with Brandon McManus's 33-yard kick. They traveled 47-yards in 8 plays and 2:55. The next Patriots drive would once again end in a punt but this time traveling 31 yards on 6 plays. The Broncos received the punt at their own 7. This time, they managed to get to the Patriot's red zone nearly getting into the end zone. Nonetheless, Trevor Siemian was intercepted by Logan Ryan on a pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders. Ryan ran the ball back all the way to the Denver' 46. This was the first play of the second quarter. This time the Patriots managed to get a touchdown in spite of the fact that they had to face a 1st & 20. They first play of the drive ending in a Tom Brady fumble in which Patriot offensive lineman Joe Thuney recovered. The Patriots reached the Broncos' 1 and scored a touchdown with LeGarrette Blount's 1-yard run. The next 2 drives of both teams ended in punts. The Broncos received the ball once more and ended the first half with a run play.
The Broncos began with first possession in the beginning of the second half. On their first drive, they went three and out having to punt. Similarly, the Patriots also went three and out. On the next Broncos' possession once again, they were unable to get a first down. The Patriots managed to score on their next drive with Gostkowski's 40-yard field goal. They went 11 plays for 61 yards in 5:12. The next 5 incoming drives all ended in punts. The next few points would come in another Gostkowski field goal at 21-yards. The next 2 drives would end in downs. The second to last drive would come in a Broncos' Jordan Norwood fumble in which Devin McCourty would obtain. Sadly for the Broncos, this would be their last possession of the game. The Patriots ended the game with a Tom Brady kneel. This ended the game with a score 16–3 giving the Patriots their 12th win of the season.
Despite just sixteen completions for 188 yards Tom Brady defeated the Broncos for only the third time at Denver and seventh time in his career With the win, the Patriots improved to 12-2, and they clinched a first round bye for the playoffs and the AFC East title for the eighth straight season. Their eighth straight division title surpassed the Rams franchise from 1973-79 for the most consecutive division titles won by one team in NFL history.
Tom Brady's Statistics