By Kate Joseph
For the first time in four years, the Broncos managed a victory over the New England Patriots in January, allowing Denver quarterback Peyton Manning to lead the team to the 2014 Super Bowl.
Nearly ten months later, the Patriots got their stride back to beat the Broncos, 21-43, on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
Despite “Brady’s better” chants from the crowd midway through the last quarter, the Patriots quarterback celebrated the challenges of facing Manning and the Broncos.
“He has always set a real high bar for how to play and I have tried to do the same through my efforts with my team,” said Brady. “The only thing I really care about is the respect from my team, going out there and trying to earn it.”
And earn it he certainly did.
Sunday marked Brady’s 200th career start, 155 of which he won, the most of any quarterback with that many starts.
Despite a 49-yard field goal by Stephen Gostowski in the first quarter, the Patriots were off to a slow start. Shortly after, Denver’s Ronnie Hillman scored a touchdown, leaving New England behind by four.
However, the home team came back in a big way in the second quarter, raking in a field goal and three touchdowns, one of which was scored with less than ten seconds left in the quarter. Denver came up empty-handed, bringing the score to 7-27 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Julian Edelman picked up the action with the team’s first two touchdowns of the day, giving the Patriots a substantial 13 point lead.
“[Edelman] can do so many things, he’s so quick,” said Brady. “What he did on the punt return was incredible.”
New England maintained their lead through the second half of the game, pulling in an additional field goal and touchdown in the third quarter, plus another touchdown in the fourth. Denver also managed to score two touchdowns, which brought their score to just half that of the Patriots’.
“Well, I don’t usually stink, but I stunk today,” said Manning. “I don’t make any excuses.”
As for the Patriots, excuses were not necessary this week, the team knows their strengths.
“We have figured out some of the things we are good at,” said Brady.
This win marks the fifth win in a row for New England, who will be on bye this weekend, but will return Sunday, Nov. 16, at 8:30 p.m. to face the Indianapolis Colts.