Biggest 180s: Patriots come back from 24 down to beat Broncos

Scott McLaughlin
September 16, 2019 - 3:00 pm

Perhaps the most memorable regular-season entry in the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry came on Nov. 24, 2013 at Gillette Stadium.

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The first half was actually quite forgettable for Patriots fans, as Manning and the Broncos stormed out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks in large part to the Patriots losing fumbles on each of their first three drives, and carried a seemingly insurmountable 24-0 lead into the half.

But as we’ve learned many times over the years, no deficit is really insurmountable for Tom Brady and the Patriots. They came out in the third quarter and scored touchdowns on each of their first three drives, while the defense stepped up and began to shut down the Broncos’ record-setting offense.

A Logan Ryan interception early in the fourth set up the Patriots with a short field, and Brady hit Julian Edelman to give the Pats a 28-24 lead. A Stephen Gostkowski field goal made it 31-24 before Manning led Denver on a late touchdown drive to force overtime.

Neither offense could do much in overtime, and it started to feel as if the rivals were destined to just trade punts before settling for a tie. But then with 3:11 left in the extra session, Broncos punt returner Tony Carter muffed a Ryan Allen punt and Nate Ebner recovered deep in Denver territory.

Two plays later, Gostkowski kicked a game-winning 31-yard field goal to complete a miraculous 180-degree turnaround and give New England the 34-31 victory.

The Broncos would ultimately get their revenge in the AFC championship game that year, as they beat the Patriots 26-16 in Denver before then getting crushed by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.


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