New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos

NE
41
DEN
16
FINAL
1234T
NE 14137741
DEN 637016

Game Information
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 76,820

DENVER (AP) Denver is no longer Tom Brady's House of Horrors and the Broncos sure don't scare anybody anymore.

Brady threw three touchdown passes and the New England Patriots matched their own AFC record with their 12th consecutive road victory, pummeling the Broncos 41-16 on Sunday night.

Brady's 86th regular-season road win broke a tie with Peyton Manning for most all-time.

"It's always hard to win in the NFL, certainly on the road," Brady said. "We found a way to do it last year and we're off to a good start this year."

Not so the Broncos.

These teams have represented the AFC in the last four Super Bowls, and the Broncos (3-6) were hoping a visit from their rivals would help shake them from their funk. Beat Brady, suggested Aqib Talib, and "the swag, the energy in this locker room, it'll skyrocket."

Instead, the Broncos fizzled.

They lost their fifth straight game, their worst skid in seven seasons, and they dropped back-to-back games to the Patriots (7-2) in Denver for the first time since 1966.

Avoiding Von Miller all night and throwing for 266 yards on 25-of-34 passing, Brady improved to 8-9 against the Broncos, the only team he has a losing record against, and he won for just the fourth time in 11 trips to Denver.

The Patriots also won a dozen consecutive road games from 2006-08. The NFL record is 18 set by the Joe Montana-led San Francisco 49ers from 1988-90.

Speaking of historic, the Patriots for the first time since 1979 had a special teams takeaway , a blocked punt and a kickoff return for a touchdown , a trifecta that fueled a comfortable 27-9 halftime lead.

The Patriots went three-and-out to start the game but rookie Isaiah McKenzie's muffed punt led to Brady's 14-yard TD toss to running back Rex Burkhead.

"That's not the first punt McKenzie has muffed this year," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.

Indeed, it was his fifth fumble, including four muffs.

"It puts us in a big hole," McKenzie said. "I put the blame all on me. If I would've caught that first punt, did anything with it, besides turn it over, then probably ... things would've changed for us."

The Patriots had five touchdowns and a pair of field goals before they'd punt again.

"We knew McKenzie had muffed a couple so we told our gunners to get down there and make it tough on him," Patriots DB Devin McCourty said. "Then we get the blocked punt return."

He's getting ahead of himself, but who could blame him?

After kicking a 39-yard field goal, Brandon McManus failed on the ensuing kickoff to get in front of returner Dion Lewis, whose 103-yard return down Denver's demoralized sideline made it 14-3.

"How are you supposed to win against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots when you're starting off" like that? wondered Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe. "You can't."

Then, Burkhead sliced through the line to block Riley Dixon's punt at the Broncos' 30-yard line, leading to Stephen Gostkowski's second field goal and a 20-6 lead.

"I have not," Broncos coach Vance Joseph replied when asked if he'd ever seen a worse special teams performance. "That wasn't the only issue we had. We were 1 for 4 in the red zone. We moved the ball better tonight but we didn't score touchdowns. And defensively they scored on seven straight possessions."

When the Broncos finally forced another punt in the fourth quarter, they were whistled for 12 men on the field, giving the Patriots a fresh set of downs. Brady took advantage of that gaffe by throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to James White, capping both the blowout and a 16-play, 94-yard drive that ate up more than seven minutes.

"Besides that first series, we couldn't stop them," Miller said.

BROCK ON: Brock Osweiler hooked up with Emmanuel Sanders five times for 114 yards in the first half but Denver stalled twice in the red zone and also at the Patriots 21, settling for field goals while the Patriots were scoring touchdowns. Sanders finished with six catches for 137 yards.

Joseph refused to say if Osweiler (18 of 33, 221 yards) would stay the starter.

"We're going to watch the tape tomorrow as a staff and determine who the quarterback is next week," Joseph said.

BENNETT'S BACK : Tight end Martellus Bennett was active - and productive - for New England just a few days after he accused the Green Bay Packers of pressuring him to play through a shoulder injury. Green Bay waived Bennett with the designation that he "failed to disclose a physical condition," but Bennett said the Packers were aware of his balky shoulder when they signed him. He said it got worse during the season and he elected to have surgery. When the Packers waived him, the Patriots grabbed him.

His first catch covered 27 yards and he finished with three catches for 38 yards.

"He did a great job to have come in on Friday," Brady said. "I love having Martellus on our team. He adds a lot, he's a great player, and he was for us last year."

MILESTONE WIN: Belichick moved into a third-place tie with Tom Landry on the all-time head-coaching list for wins, with 270. He trails only Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324).

INJURIES: Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater went out in the first half with a pulled hamstring.

Broncos tight end A.J. Derby was knocked out with a shoulder injury.

Umpire Jeff Rice was carted off in the third quarter after hitting his head on the ground when Patriots linebacker Trevor Reilly bowled him over on during a Denver punt.

UP NEXT

Patriots: At Raiders at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca (elevation 7,280 feet). The Patriots are staying in Colorado all week, practicing at the Air Force Academy (elevation 6,621) feet to acclimate to the altitude.

Broncos: Host the Cincinnati Bengals.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Broncos
12:36 Rex Burkhead 14 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 7 0
08:39 Brandon McManus 39 yd FG 7 3
08:24 Dion Lewis 103 yd kick return (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 14 3
05:18 Brandon McManus 33 yd FG 14 6

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Broncos
13:38 Stephen Gostkowski 25 yd FG 17 6
08:47 Stephen Gostkowski 28 yd FG 20 6
02:36 Brandon McManus 36 yd FG 20 9
00:25 Dwayne Allen 11 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 27 9

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Broncos
07:54 Demaryius Thomas 7 yd pass from Brock Osweiler (Brandon McManus kick) 27 16
04:36 Dion Lewis 8 yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 34 16

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Broncos
09:04 James White 6 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 41 16

Team Stats
  New England Denver
1st Downs 28 17
Total Yards 396 339
Passing 297 221
Passing Completions/Attempts 28-37 18-33
Yards/Pass 7.8 6.7
Rushing 99 118
Rushing Attempts 29 28
Yards/Rush 3.4 4.2
Turnovers 0 2
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Interceptions Thrown 0 1
Possession 29:43 30:17

New England Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Tom Brady 25 34 266 7.8 3 0
Brian Hoyer 3 3 37 12.3 0 0

Denver Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Brock Osweiler 18 33 221 6.7 1 1

New England Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Dion Lewis 14 55 3.9 1 9
Rex Burkhead 10 36 3.6 0 8
James White 2 7 3.5 0 4
Brandon Bolden 2 1 0.5 0 2
Tom Brady 1 0 0.0 0 0

Denver Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
C.J. Anderson 10 54 5.4 0 21
Jamaal Charles 8 38 4.8 0 11
Devontae Booker 8 24 3.0 0 7
Andy Janovich 1 3 3.0 0 3
Brock Osweiler 1 -1 -1.0 0 -1

New England Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Brandin Cooks 6 74 12.3 0 27
Rob Gronkowski 4 74 18.5 0 26
Martellus Bennett 3 38 12.7 0 27
Danny Amendola 4 36 9.0 0 16
Rex Burkhead 3 27 9.0 1 14
James Develin 2 16 8.0 0 10
Phillip Dorsett 2 16 8.0 0 11
James White 3 11 3.7 1 8
Dwayne Allen 1 11 11.0 1 11

Denver Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Emmanuel Sanders 6 137 22.8 0 38
Demaryius Thomas 5 44 8.8 1 17
Cody Latimer 3 28 9.3 0 11
Devontae Booker 1 5 5.0 0 5
Jeff Heuerman 1 4 4.0 0 4
A.J. Derby 1 2 2.0 0 2
C.J. Anderson 1 1 1.0 0 1
Jamaal Charles 0 0 0.0 0
Bennie Fowler 0 0 0.0 0

New England Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Kyle Van Noy 5 0 0 0
Patrick Chung 4 0 0 0
Devin McCourty 4 0 0 0
Alan Branch 3 0 0 0
Malcolm Butler 3 0 0 0
Stephon Gilmore 3 0 0 0
Lawrence Guy 3 1 0 0
David Harris 3 1 0 0
Jonathan Jones 3 1 0 0
Adam Butler 2 1 0 0
Duron Harmon 2 0 0 0
Trey Flowers 1 0 0 0
Ricky Jean Francois 1 0 0 0
Jordan Richards 1 0 0 0
Elandon Roberts 1 3 0 0
Deatrich Wise Jr. 1 0 0 0
Brandon Bolden 0 0 0 0
Nate Ebner 0 0 0 0
Marquis Flowers 0 0 0 0
Brandon King 0 0 0 0
Trevor Reilly 0 0 0 0
Matthew Slater 0 0 0 0

Denver Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Brandon Marshall 7 3 0 0
Justin Simmons 6 4 1 6
Chris Harris Jr. 5 0 0 0
Todd Davis 3 3 0 0
Shane Ray 3 1 0 0
Darian Stewart 3 3 0 0
Shaquil Barrett 2 1 0 0
Adam Gotsis 2 2 0 0
Will Parks 2 0 0 0
Bradley Roby 2 0 0 0
Shelby Harris 1 1 0 0
Zach Kerr 1 2 0 0
Von Miller 1 0 0 0
Domata Peko 1 0 0 0
Garett Bolles 0 0 0 0
Isaiah McKenzie 0 0 0 0
Derek Wolfe 0 4 0 0

New England Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Patrick Chung 1 30 0

Denver Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

New England Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Dion Lewis 1 103 103.0 1 103

Denver Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Devontae Booker 5 107 21.4 0 28
Isaiah McKenzie 1 17 17.0 0 17
Andy Janovich 1 10 10.0 0 10

New England Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
No punt return stats.

Denver Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Isaiah McKenzie 1 0 0.0 0 0

New England Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Stephen Gostkowski 2 2 100.0 28

Denver Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Brandon McManus 3 3 100.0 39

New England Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Ryan Allen 1 43 43

Denver Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Riley Dixon 2 95 49