The Patriots were able to stop the Broncos from scoring touchdowns on two of their long drives in the first half, but there was not stopping the Broncos to start the third quarter.
Peyton Manning led the Broncos on an 80-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, Manning’s second touchdown throw of the game, and a 20-3 Broncos lead. The Broncos held the ball for nearly half the quarter and registered their longest drive of the season by taking 7:08 off the clock in the process.
As in the first half, third downs were a problem for New England. Manning hit Julius Thomas for one conversion and Montee Ball had another close to the end zone when the Patriots could have again held the Broncos to just three points.
They couldn’t, though, and the Broncos now lead by three scores with the Patriots offense yet to click. If they don’t find their rhythm soon, Denver might be too far out in front for it to make a difference.