Broncos defense leads way to 17-9 halftime lead

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When the Patriots win the opening coin toss, they usually opt to defer their decision on taking the ball to the second half of the game.

They called the toss correctly on Sunday in Denver, but chose to take the ball instead. Presumably, the hope was to grab a quick lead and put the pressure on the Broncos. It didn’t work, though, and not much else has worked for the Patriots offense through the first two quarters of the AFC championship game.

The Broncos intercepted Tom Brady twice, sacked him twice and held the Patriots to 115 yards with one third down conversion on their way to a 17-9 halftime lead. The pass rush has been effective when Brady has not been sacked as well, with Malik Jackson rocking him with a big hit on what turned out to be Brady’s second turnover of the game. It’s been a great game plan from Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the Patriots have some big adjustments to make in the locker room to get things moving the other way.

The defense also forced a quick three-and-out near the two minute warning and a poor Ryan Allen punt set the Broncos up near midfield for a short drive that resulted in a 52-yard Brandon McManus field goal. The Broncos also used a short field after Von Miller picked Brady to score a touchdown and went 83 yards on their opening drive for an Owen Daniels touchdown catch.

Peyton Manning is 10-of-20 for 128 yards while Brady is 9-of-20 for 87 yards halfway through their latest matchup. If the Broncos defense can produce 30 more minutes of those numbers, they’ll be carrying Manning to his fourth Super Bowl appearance.

91 responses to “Broncos defense leads way to 17-9 halftime lead

  1. Malcolm butler mouthing off the place kicker.

    Brady not being able to throw an inflated football with normal psi.

    Holding and roughing being called on the offensive line which is why they’re nothing today.

    Reminds me of the patriots when they can’t cheat.

  2. The Patriots tablets weren’t working for almost the whole half. Throw in the pro Mules officiating and you have a close game, for now.

    Screens and draws in the 2nd half will open up that Mules defense.

  3. I am watching the NIGHTMARE of a scared Brady and Plain Jane Vanilla Offence that cnnot move the chains.

    Unless the Patriots start putting up a FIGHT, this game is over.

  4. Brady getting hit hard in pocket. Only NE TD is on turnover by Denver giving NE possession on Denver 30.

    2 TB interceptions and almost a 3rd!

    Denver D is playing Edelman gronk and Amendola tough. Only 2 passes each and no YAC!

    Defense wins championships! Go Broncos!

  5. So far this game is going just about the way I expected. Denver and Mile High own Tom Brady.

  6. As predicted, Patriots fans cry about the refs. Please explain to me how that makes you any different then Harbaugh? You guys all talk so tough about no excuses, but all I read are comments crying about the officiating.

    #hypocrites

  7. vancouversportsbro says:
    Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Malcolm butler mouthing off the place kicker.

    Brady not being able to throw an inflated football with normal psi.

    Holding and roughing being called on the offensive line which is why they’re nothing today.

    Reminds me of the patriots when they can’t cheat.

    ————————————————————–
    Yeah, sure. See you in the 4th quarter when the clock reaches 00:00

  8. Denver played a great half, but it’s only an eight point game. I’ll give Denver a lot of credit if they can stop Patriots adjustments. So far, they have all of the answers.

  9. That first interception by Brady was a miserable throw. And that missed PAT will haunt the Pats. Let’s see what Belichek does at the half….Broncos game for the taking.

  10. Manning is playing very well Alper, even all the Announcers are saying it so what game are you watching?? You’re so NE and Brady biased it’s really ridiculous.

  11. joetoronto, if you’re going to post duplicate comments please trash the Bills. Those comments are your most entertaining.

  12. patsfantransplant says:
    Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM
    vancouversportsbro says:
    Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Malcolm butler mouthing off the place kicker.

    Brady not being able to throw an inflated football with normal psi.

    Holding and roughing being called on the offensive line which is why they’re nothing today.

    Reminds me of the patriots when they can’t cheat.

    ————————————————————–
    Yeah, sure. See you in the 4th quarter when the clock reaches 00:00
    ****
    Win or lose? Promise?

  13. Brady really does struggle at Mile High. Denver’s defense probably is the best in the league but Brady usually finds a way to get it done. I’m not so sure he will today.

  14. I see brady knelt going into the half. Will we see the back up QB like we did in the last part of the end of game Vs Miami?

  15. mmmcusa says:
    Jan 24, 2016 5:03 PM

    Manning is playing very well Alper, even all the Announcers are saying it so what game are you watching?? You’re so NE and Brady biased it’s really ridiculous.
    _________________

    manning is a spoiled, petulant, crybaby whiner but he is playing extremely well considering he throws like an old lady. Actually the Denver defense is playing extremely well.

  16. Why is Gronk dehydrated? It is nearly freezing! How much did he have to drink last night?

  17. Denver Defense easily won this game.

    No fight in Brady, Gronk, Edleman, or the OLine.

    Seems like the Patriots front 7 are duing a great job, unfortunately the Pats secondary is not real good.

    Disgusted Patriots fan.

  18. This game was over from the beginning when Denvers D set the tone and Brady played scared throughout the entire game.

    As a Pats fan = PAINFUL to watch.

  19. Helmet-to-helmet rule needs to go. If you don’t wanna get hit in the head, then don’t play football. But that call completely changed all the momentum. And now NE actually has a chance

  20. Denver playing great D, Pats Offensive line can’t protect him. Unless they figure out a way to move the football in the last 4 minutes it’s over. Been a great run.

  21. From the beginning of this game there was no CLEAR path to victory by the Patriots coaching staff.

    Horrible coaching as follows:

    1.) Choosing to receive on opening kickoff

    2.) Plain Vanilla offensive scheme

    3.) Brady 100% SCARED

    4.) Failed to make adjustments at half time

    5.) BB deciding to go for it on 4th down instead of kicking a field goal to make it 20 – 15

    6.) BB, again, going for it on 4th down instead of kicking a field goal to make it 20 18

    7.) Had the Pats kicked two field goals fo 20 – 18 they then had enough time to try an onside kick. If recovered they would of won the game with a field goal = MOST Likely SMART DECISION to stay in the game.

  22. To be clear, I do not hate Tom Brady or the Pats org or most of the Pats’ fans. But to the Pats fans who troll up every article: suck it.

  23. Attention Patriots fans: the Tom Brady Deflategate Revenge Tour has been canceled.

    Ticket refunds may be picked up at the NFL offices in New York.

    They will be handed out personally to you by Commissioner Goodell.

  24. Which of these QBs is supposedly retiring at the end of this season.

    There has been so much talk on how Manning is done. During the game the announcers stated that he is all of ONE year older than brady.

  25. Manning, for all his faults in the playoffs, he’s 3-1 versus Brady in AFC title games.

    Take it for what it’s worth.

  26. Why didn’t NE didn’t take a field goal with six minutes to go? Horrible coaching decision by New England… Cost them the game.

  27. To all Bronco fans, great game. The better team won today. Your D was smothering.Congratulations and go give em hell in the Superbowl.

    Signed, a lifelong Patriot fan.

  28. Anyone but Brady!

    Thanks Denver D. Smack the crap out of the whiner. It was all he could do all day to not whine – you could see him wanting to do it!

  29. Never seen a QB intentionally ground so many times and never be flagged. At least he didn’t get away with a win. Now he can prepare his appeal to the Sup. Ct. after the NFL gets that crazy ruling tossed.

  30. Congratulations Denver. Neither D deserved to lose that game but one of them had to and the Broncos defense was stifling. They deserved the win without question they were the better team out there today by just enough. Great defensive battle and really pleased the players not the zebras decided it.

  31. Well, so much for Manning being “washed up” as many of his haters kept telling us all year long. Signed, an Eagles fan.

  32. Brady can’t win away playoff games, especially with a regularly inflated ball. And Stephen Goatkowski can’t make field goals outside of Gilette.

  33. I just took a quick glance through some of the other letters.

    Haters never change – they never identify the team they root for, if they root at all – they just want to smack down on my Pats.

    Smack away – I’m going to take a walk.

  34. Was pulling for the Pats but the Broncos defense earned it. Wade Phillips was the game MVP. Hope for Peyton’s sake they aren’t embarrassed again in the SB.

  35. patsfantransplant says:
    Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM

    Yeah, sure. See you in the 4th quarter when the clock reaches 00:00
    —————————–
    This guy must be stuck in traffic.

  36. The Pats deserves to lose. How could they give up field goals is beyond me. They had plenty of time to score more.
    The O line stinks and there is no running game. They need to fix the mess.
    Still they got it close enough. Good for Peyton. I hope he wins another SB this time. It will be awful if they lose again. Congrats Broncos! Take care of Peyton.

  37. Congrats Broncos and their fans. Both defenses played well, but yours was stifling. Broncos deserve this win.

    I’m still proud of the Patriots….they fought to the end, but it wasn’t enough against Denver’s D.

    By the way…….Officiating was fair and consistent.

    Good luck in the SB Broncos

  38. What a great defensive game. For all the Manning/Brady buildup they were just along for the ride today, those defenses were both awesome to watch. The turnovers were the difference in that nail biter. If the SB is close to what we saw today then 50 will be one to remember.
    Congrats Broncos!

  39. First things first, much respect to those Patriot fans that showed up here and exhibited class and sportsmanship. To all the experts and analyst… Never underestimate the heart of the Bronco Organization. We have battled through just as much adversity and injury as any team in the league. We handle our business with class and dignity. At the end of the day we represent the NFL in the right way. On a less serious note… Defenseless reciever rule has to go! The Intentional Grounding Rule needs work. And finally Heath Evans, what have you EVER done? Don’t be surprised if we win it all! GO BRONCOS WE ARE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY!!!

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