Sunday Night wrap-up: Patriots lose game, and maybe more

AP

This Tom Brady-playing-without-his-best-targets thing is going to be put to its biggest test yet.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was carted off late in their 30-24 overtime loss to the Broncos, after taking a hard shot to his right knee. He was immediately declared out, though that could have simply been a function of the timing.

Gronkowski was hit on the knee by safety Darian Stewart, and immediately went down clutching his leg in pain.

The Patriots were already playing without wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and running back Dion Lewis and left tackle Nate Solder (not to mention linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins), and while they have all had their moments, none come close to Gronkowski’s level of importance.

Few players do.

When Gronkowski caught his 63rd career touchdown in the first half, it moved him into sole possession of third on the all-time tight end touchdown list, trailing only Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates. That means he has more touchdowns than every tight end in the Hall of Fame.

And as impressive as his accomplishments have been, he’s also dealt with plenty of injuries, which made many teams wary of him prior to the the draft.

But if this one is serious, it’s going to take every bit of magic Brady can muster to keep this offense afloat, despite the fact they’re 10-1.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. As poignant as it was watching Peyton Manning not play tonight against Brady, it was hard to watch him limp through the pre-game in his cast and walking boot and not think about NBA star Kobe Bryant, who retired Sunday.

Bryant finally figured out his body wasn’t allowing him to play to his previous level, something everyone else figured out some time ago.

And while Manning wants to come back and play again, watching him struggle through injuries (with the exception of his rested and healthy post-bye week when he looked like Young Peyton) makes you wonder if there’s anything that could get him back to the kind of level we’d recognize, or that he’d be pleased with watching.

And the fact that replacement Brock Osweiler played as well as he has is going to complicate the process, which was already going to be awkward.

The rally to take the lead late was good work for any quarterback, but for a young player without much experience to do so against that opponent likely cemented Osweiler’s status for the near future.

2. Broncos running back C.J. Anderson helped make it a game in the fourth quarter, with a 15-yard touchdown run that showed his burst.

Then he made himself a legend in Denver, winning it in overtime with a 48-yard touchdown run.

He finished with 15 carries for 113 yards and two scores, creating one of the more memorable moments in a series full of them.

He’s actually played very well since the bye, averaging 5.8 yards per carry in the first four games after the week off, after not averaging higher than 3.9 per carry in any game before the break, and just 2.7 per carry over the first six games.

A toe injury slowed him, but seeing him in the snow just brought into relief how much different he looked.

3. The offensive stars shine brightest, but the Broncos won with a defense that proved it can stop any quarterback.

The pressure Von Miller put on Brady late in the game was such that no quarterback could make consistent plays, and the job his teammates did throughout kept Brady on his toes when he had his best target.

4. Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas can afford a fresh pair for every play. But he made sure to change gloves in the second half, after a rash of drops.

Thomas had a rough night all the way around, only partly due to the coverage the Patriots were throwing his way. But there have been a few moments lately when Emmanuel Sanders looked like the more reliable target, and the more important part of their offense.

Granted, Sanders is able to get open in part because of the attention Thomas draws, and it’s not as if Thomas has been poor all year. He entered the game with 71 receptions for 875 yards. But his touchdown numbers are way off (two so far this season after 35 the previous three seasons), and it can’t all be the gloves.

5. It’s always kind of amusing watching Brady air out teammates when they miss a block or drop a pass, as he did with his offensive line in the third quarter.

When he does it, it’s never dubbed ego, or selfishness. No letters to the editor are written by pearl-clutching Tennessee mommas. Instead, it’s “fiery leadership,” or “attention to detail.”

He gets the benefit of the doubt because he’s won and done it for a long time. Even though sometimes he has a hard time finding people to high-five.

222 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Patriots lose game, and maybe more

  1. I think the refs will have a little something extra in their paychecks from the Bowlen family this week.

    What an absolute disgrace. The revenge of Goodell…

  2. Most lopsided refs in the second half I have ever seen. Never thought the NFL was fixed until now. Everything the Patriots were getting called for, the Broncos were doing twice as much.

  3. No dog in this hunt and I don’t mind seeing the Patriots beaten, but they were robbed in the 4th quarter. Those were some horrible, game-changing penalties.

    As a football fan, I hate to see bad calls impact a game so much.

  4. put a fork in the Pats because they’re done…with all these injuries and now most likely losing Gronk for the remainder of the season, they will unfortunately go nowhere in the post-season…I feel bad for Brady because of the season he is having at his age, he deserved a healthy team…Broncos Panthers in Super Bowl 50, book it

  5. Patriots fans will cry about the refs. And Broncos fans (including me) will try to defend it. But either way. What. A. Game. Both teams played their ass off

  6. Great game by the Donks. Osweiler looks like the real deal and I don’t ever see Manning playing another down for them.

  7. Patriots finally meet an opponent they can’t overcome – attrition:

    Top 4 skill position players outside of your QB

    Top 2 (or 2 out of 3 defensive players, arguably)

    Best offensive lineman

    And still, took an 8-2 team to overtime and needed some pretty ticky-tack calls and a botched punt return by a practice squad player to get beat.

    Here’s hoping Gronkowski will be back in time for the playoffs – I’ll take a healthy roster over the #1 seed any day of the week. Especially if that #1 seed is Cincy.

  8. This league should be ashamed of themselves. That was the worst refereeing Ive ever seen against one team. Ton of character by NE to even force OT with the refs clearly doing all they could to prevent them from winning.

  9. The snow – the teams – the story with Peyton out and Brock emerging… this may have been the best game of the season.

    That said – Chris Collinsworth should be removed simply for bias. He was blatantly pro-Patriots the entire game. I get that the Pats are playing well, but when Gronk got injured, he was speaking as if his son was taken off of the field.

  10. Pats aren’t the same team as before.
    They aren’t going to the super bowl again.
    Sober up new England fans.

  11. No mention of the muffed punt? I felt the momentum shift as soon as that happened. Broncos scored…what 23 points after that, and the Pats got 3

  12. Some ticky tack calls on Gronk for OPI, and then Chung for holding on a play in which there was obvious hands to face by the Broncos, but give Denver credit – they ran it down NE’s throat and Osweiler was good. They deserved it.

  13. If Brady had accepted his punishment for cheating, it would have ended a long time ago.

    Since he refused to, it unfortunately transferred to his favorite targets: Edelman, Lewis, Amendola, and now Gronk.

    There’s no escape.

  14. Elway must have really given the officials some good kick backs. ANOTHER horribly officiated game. Well, it is anyone’s guess who will when what game next week. I have an idea.

    Ask the officials who are going to win each week…

  15. I haven’t seen officiating that blatantly biased since the Montreal Screwjob. People were just joking that the NFL looked like the WWE, now it just went over the top.

  16. The Cheaters were outplayed and just couldn’t find a way to cheat to win this one. Good.
    So happy for the Broncos to beat the Cheaters and to spoil what was almost a perfect season.
    ’72 Dolphins are still better than the Cheaters and always will be because they didn’t cheat to win.
    Patriots ****Super Bowl “winners.”

  17. You forgot number 6.

    Refs. Unfortunately the refs played apart of this game.

    It’s becoming a popular theme these days.

    Fire Goodell and his appointment appointees.

  18. 6. Goodell will stop at nothing to stop the Patriots. Last week, the refs didn’t influence the game enough so they were given “a week off”. This week, they made no mistake and ensured that there was no way for the Pats to prevail.

    You’re a disgrace Roger.

  19. Sorry about gronk but this does open the afc up for about 3 other teams. The bengals, broncos and those deplorable steelers. WHO DEY!

  20. I’m not sure why the Pats were throwing there? I know injuries can happen at any time, but it seemed like they were trying to out think themselves, run the ball, force Denver to use their final time-out and then kill as much clock as possible.

    Whatever, glad they didn’t and glad Denver won. Maintaining the 3 game division lead with 5 to play is huge.

  21. Belechick should have just run it with Blount 3 times when they got the ball. Instead, they lose the game and probably Gronkowski . Didn’t make much sense, seems like that was a costly series for them.

  22. I despise Pats and really I don’t like both teams right now because of rooting interests for the Bengals but wow amazing play and I despise Brady as much as anyone but for what he can do and has done with practically nothing to work with this year has been phenomenal. Don’t like the guy but can’t deny he’s an all time great in sports.

    That being said awesome win for Denver Brock might not let Peyton see the field again. As much as that is sad to see Denver should be happy with the way their potential future qb has played thus far. See you in a few weeks Denver.

  23. For the Cheaters it isn’t “Next man up.”
    It’s, “What is the newest way we can cheat.”

  24. Even with all the injuries and the bad muffed punt, the Patriots won the game and the officials stole it from them. They made four or five different plays that should have, could have and would have ended the game, and each were met with phantom flags. The country witnessed what was likely a League-mandated screw job, so the question is going to be whether anyone does anything about it or if we will send the message that we don’t mind. Integrity of the game….

  25. Darian Stewart learned well from tj ward. Just aim for the legs. And I laugh at the so called sportsmanship the broncos showed when gronkowskii got carted off. They were happy they just took out the best tight end in the game, and most likely ended new England’s hope for a Super Bowl. That’s the only way the broncos ever beat the patriots: not having to deal with gronkowskii.

  26. Eh. Good game Broncos. Was as good as I said it was going to be. We will see you again 🙂

    Hopefully with a healthier team 🙁

  27. This was obvious. The Broncos are clearly the better team. Von is unblockable and Osweiler is a stud. If DT would have caught anything tonight, the Broncos would have won by 30.

    Best of luck to Gronk on a quick recovery. It would be great to see a healthy rematch in January (including D Ware, Boss Ward and Sly Williams).

  28. Brady had legitimate reason to be pissed. Surprised no mention of the clock run off after the “excess time out”.

  29. “a defense that proved it can stop any quarterback”?

    Mmm, ahh, hmm?

    Osweiler played very well and Anderson was a beast, but I am not going to pretend the refs didn’t help – a lot.

    Non-existent OPI. Non-existent defensive holding in the end zone on the sack. An offensive holding call that took back a 52 yard pass that would have all but ended the game. (The replay on NBC did not show holding, but it may have happened.). The roughing the punter that wasn’t called.

    Very ugly officiating and sadly heavily slanted.

  30. I love so much how the narrative is “The Denver D proved they can stop any quarterback.” If Chris Harper doesnt muff a punt, Brady puts a nail in the coffin when its 21-7. From that point on, the referee screw job commenced, and Brady still got it to OT without the Gronk. No mention of the Pats D playing as stout as they possiblg could without their two best LB’s.

  31. Congrats to Denver.

    Truly the most disgustingly refereed game I’ve ever seen.

    As for the loss, the season means nothing now anyway if Gronk is done.

  32. Second time he has been taken out with a low shot to his knees by a safety. Several factors here, first of all the guy is such a freak of nature the safeties and DB’s cannot do anything but go low. He is too strong to be tackled up high. A lot of this has to do with the game not allowing defenses to hit players high any more as well. The same thing happened to Kellen Winslow and cut his career short. Just part of the game, he is a freak and fun to watch hope he returns at full strength. From a UofA alumni and SD Charger fan.

  33. That game proved one thing: If you take away almost every starter on both offense and defense, and have all six refs try to throw the game against you, it still takes overtime to beat the Pats.

  34. What a great game! The wicked witch is dead… No better scene than BB and TB running off the field with their tails between their legs. I’m no longer worried about the Pats – if Lurch and the smurfs are out into the playoffs, they are no better than any of the other playoff contenders.

  35. Refs/NFL did absolutely everything they could to help the Broncos stay in the game to beat the Pats. I can’t stand either one of these teams, but as a Raider fan, I know getting jobbed by the refs when I see it. And the Pats had to play against the Broncos and the referees tonight. This league is really starting to disgust me…

  36. Get ready for blaming the refs and the injuries….remember they are the only team that has injuries…

  37. As I said Pats fans; November 29th, Our House. Shady flustered, no weapons left, no plow needed, and grass stains are the only remnants of your stay. Better win out or you will be coming back for another and we want that!

  38. This was a helluva win by the Broncos against THE toughest & most disciplined team in the NFL. I hate the Pats, but only cuz I fear their ability to outsmart teams & win. I hope they meet again in January with Brock at QB, not Peyton.

  39. I love The Pats, but all reality speaking, we are under dogs from this standpoint out.

    Gronk, Edelman, Lewis, Collins, Hightower, Solder, and Amendola. Just simply are not going to replace these pieces.

    Not even The Greatest of All Time(Que your cheater jokes, I’d love to see any QB do what Brady just did) can save you from complete roster decimation.

    Love him or hate him, if The Pats make a run for the Super Bowl, it will be strictly on the back of Tom Brady.

  40. Turning point of the season for the Pats. They’re too banged up to do any damage in the postseason.

    Can you imagine the havoc that teams with good defenses can create for them? Heck, let’s say that Tom and crew make it to the big show (let’s face it: Tom is that good). Can you imagine the man-handling that Carolina, Arizona or Seattle will give them?

  41. Congrats Broncos.

    The Pats homers are gonna say they only lost due to all the players they have out injured.

    That’s part of life and part of the NFL though.

    Some seasons teams have better injury luck than others.

    The Pats might want to do all they can to get healthy for the playoffs now that they don’t have to chase perfection anymore.

  42. Whether you like the Pats or not, you can’t tell me you feel good about how horrendous the officiating was. That’s not the kind of football we want to watch.

  43. We tend to forget that the greats, in this case Brady and Rodgers, need 2 – 3 really good receivers to get the job done. When they lose them to injury, they are in some trouble.

    The Packers (more than the Pats) and the Pats are in some trouble due to receiver injuries. I don’t care how good the QB is. If no one is there to catch the ball, they are going to lose.

  44. Tough loss no doubt for the Pats. Not the game, that was secondary, but Gronk’s knee injury looks harsh. Congrats to the Broncos, they pulled that out. I don’t care about officiating or whatever, they screw up in each direction all the time.

  45. Brady is the best, no doubt now and possibly all-time.

    However it is a good 5th point here that winning covers otherwise criticized behaviors. Rodgers shows displeasure when a receiver runs an obviously poor route, and he’s often called a prima donna. Brady screams at his o-line frequently, and…

  46. We got totally screwed on a bunch of those late penalty calls. I knew this would be a tough game, but watching Gronk go off on the cart turned my stomach. Get well, big guy.

  47. I hate it when an otherwise excellent game has to be ruined by the officials deciding the outcome. BTW, I’m not a fan of either team.

  48. Denver just hung 30 points on the #1 scoring D with a backup QB who now may be the #1 QB from here on out. What a statement win

  49. Every team has injuries at this point in the season.

    However, the Patriots are just simply running out of players they can plug in at key positions at this point.

    When they don’t get the key calls they’re used to getting, it all adds up to a loss.

  50. worst officiated game I ever watched . It looked like the refs tried to not let the Pats win . Looks to me the refs are inept or have an agenda mandated by the league . Just plain awful . Glad to hear Gronks injury is not serious .

  51. This was arguably the worst officiated game in NFL history. If not, it has to be in the top 10 worst. Corrente kept on calling penalty after penalty every time the Pats make a play late in the game.

    They lost Hightower, already without Edelman, Lewis, Collins, Solder, Amendola. At least call the game fairly. OPI on Gronk was appalling. 30 yard pass negated by an awful holding call.

    Right now, Corrente, Triplette and Hochuli and arguably the worst refs in the league.

  52. That was a great football game. Sucks to lose but a great game nonetheless. Big plays on both sides, no horrible officiating gaffs, just football. Early reports on Gronk are encouraging. Need to get healthy for the stretch run. Congrats to the Broncos. They were the better team tonight.

  53. I know people are going to bring up the whole “Osweiler should keep the job” narrative, but to be honest, he hasn’t been that great.

    He doesn’t have his timing down, he holds the ball too long, they had to burn at least two timeouts because he couldn’t get the play called or the formation set, and how on earth does a 6’8″ QB get at least THREE balls knocked down at the line of scrimmage?

    He shows a lot of good things, and I think he will probably turn out to be a very good QB, but we’ve seen what rested and relatively-healthy Peyton Manning is still capable of (in the game off the bye week), and it’s far better than what Osweiler has shown so far.

  54. Did Goodell get enough payback against the Patriots tonight? The calls were absolutely terrible, and you don’t need to be a Patriots fan to agree. Just listen to Cris Collinsworth’s commentary….

  55. Worst play calling I have ever watched = STUPID.

    Continually trying to rum Blount up the middle = FAIL

    Continually throwing downfield to WHO???? = FAIL

    Brady is not an accurate deep thrower and he has no WR that can jump and go after the ball.

    They had the game in hand and gave it away.

  56. Crybaby Tom was in fine form tonight… throwing tantrums over obvious penalties, whining to his teammates, begging for flags, etc. Too funny. The best moment was when he was screaming about the clock running after the Bronco injury at the end, which was the right call. As Crybaby Tom himself once said: Study the rule book!

  57. It’s too bad that the NFL had to hire these WWE officials to decide this game. The phantom PI on Gronk and that holding penalty when the Pats got that sack late in regulation time.

  58. Seems the league and their Zebras weren’t going to let the Patriots win. Goodell has something up his sleeve for them. It’s as clear as day. Worst one sided officiating I’ve seen in a while

  59. Without Gronk, Edelman, Lewis and Amendola this will not end well. Another shot at Denver looks doubtful as the Pats will have to get by a Steeler team that is trending upward in spite of today’s loss. Love the Pats but this ride may be over.

  60. That was the worst officiated contest since Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart in Montreal.

    And people thought David Stern was corrupt

  61. Putting aside Gronk’s injury (get well soon buddy) this was an officiating nightmare for the Patriots. There were several key plays that probably would’ve changed the outcome of the game that went against them including that terrible PI against Chung that negated a game changing sack at the end. Corrente also announced that there were 40 seconds on the clock and instead of resetting, the operator simply wound the clock on some obscure whistle nobody heard or understood. Just awful NFL.

    That being said Goodell’s about to give Corrente a huge raise after this game, so congratulations Tony you incompetent dunce!

  62. Really? You are going to tout the Broncos defense instead of the one-sided zebras? Yeah where I come from the zebras are not considered part of your defense.

    #FixedLeague
    #NoIntegrity
    #HollowVictory

  63. I just love it when things don`t go the cheaters way and you see Brady constantly crying to the refs.

  64. I can’t stand the Patriots, or Brady, but they played a hell of a game tonight that had me pacing in front of my TV when it went into OT. And that goes double for Denver.

  65. W O W
    I had a hectic Sunday, was away from TV and even internet all day, till now.
    And the Broncos won!!!!
    Congrats to the Broncos and their QB.
    This is why we watch football.

  66. Come on pats fans, lets here you crying about all your injuries. Like no other team has any. Including some you have already played. You just got beat by a backup quarterback. HaHaHa

  67. Great game !!! Not a Pat’s fan but i hope Gronk is able to play next week. Look’s like Payton will end up with another team if he intends on playing another season. Look for Elway to “Cut the Cord” !!! Develop Brock and build for the future, Payton can start for the Browns, Ravens, KC, etc. Not slamming him just think if he wants to continue playing he may be forced to try another team.

  68. Not a single mention of the horrible officiating in this game- all one-sided. Not surprising though as the author’s bias is quite clear. As a Patriot fan I believe the grit and determination to fight every obstacle thrown their way tonight is why they are champions.

  69. I appreciate the quick recap. However, arbitrarily ripping Brady for getting pissed at his offensive linemen while completely ignoring the absolutely atrocious officiating makes me feel like I was watching a different game.

  70. Tom Brady has no class he couldn’t even come over and shake Brock’s hand what a sore loser.

  71. Is anyone going to ask, what the hell is an “excess timeout”? And what was the penalty to the Broncos or the benefit to the Patriots? I’m only a casual Patriots fan, but I thought they got screwed up one side and down the other tonight, from ticky tack pass interference calls to the excess time out debacle. What a clown show by the zebras.

  72. Congrats to Osweiler. Great job. He hung in there and didn’t seem to get discouraged after missing a few opportunities. Brady on the other hand seemed like a petulant child as always when things aren’t going his way.

  73. Brady has always struck me as a guy like Elway. He may not be liked by many people, but he sure is respected on that field.

  74. Love that Brady link!

    I’m betting there eventually will be a documentary about what a horrible teammate Brady was, with tons of ex-players unloading on what a spoiled brat he was.

  75. I’m a Pats fan but I was impressed with Osweiler.

    We’re banged up at the minute and in a weird way I’m happy to not have the whole 16-0 season thing to worry about anymore. Would much prefer a healthy Gronk in the post-season anyway.

    Anyhoo, congrats Denver, great game, hope to see you again in the playoffs.

  76. I’m okay with how the Pats did given the limitations they have on offense right now, but that O line really needs work. Taking away our run game obviously doesn’t work with Jules, Danny, and Dion out. Congrats to Broncos and their fans on a thriller. -Pats fan

  77. Haha pt5. 🙂

    His excessive whining to the zebras has finally wore out his welcome

  78. but the Broncos won with a defense that proved it can stop any quarterback

    Good D, but I think they won with special teams when they jumped on that muffed punt.

    Difference in the game.

  79. Well, the NFL finally defeated the Pats! I can just imagine Godell in the ear of the ref, “quick, that was a good play by the Pats, throw a flag, overturn it”.

  80. Where are all the Pats fans that believe they have the greatest, most awesomest QB in the history of the world (but can’t beat a backup)?

    p.s. Hope the Gronk is okay. He makes Sunday fun.

  81. The fumbled punt was the turning point. I don’t know why the 3rd string punt returner was allowed to go near it in that situation.

  82. The Broncos defensive line stopped the Pats’ running game omre than it stopped Brady. And the lousy officiating didn’t help the Pats either.

  83. Your obviously kidding about point number 3. They proved they can stop Brady? Ok let’s see them do them with half of their skill position players there never mind of all of them.

  84. Patriots planned to perfection to play against all 3 facets of Denver (offense, defense, Special T)…but they were not aware that they also were playing with the refs

  85. …And let’s add a few comments regarding last night’s officiating, shall we?

    What became inescapably clear to me during the course of last night’s game was that certain members of the officiating crew seemed to be calling the game in such a way as to make it impossible for the Patriots to leave Denver with a victory last night.

    Clearly, all of the bad calls made last night were a deliberate, premeditated effort to deny the Patriots a victory. Most, if not all, of the bad calls made last night were applied against the Patriots at pivotal points in the game which would have extended the Patriots time of possession, positioning them to deliver a knock-out punch to Denver. Seemed to me that it was a CALCULATED EFFORT on the part of certain officials to tilt the game in Denver’s favor.

    The poor officiating was both obvious, shocking, and outrageous in the way it was applied….I’m still upset and outraged over last night’s events.

    Clearly, Denver did NOT win last night’s game. More precisely, the officiating crew deliberately handed the Denver Broncos the victory on a silver platter.

    In my mind, and apparently in the minds of many others, the Patriots, with all things being EQUAL, would have emerged from that game the victors. They were, in effect, CHEATED out of a victory…(and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that Goodell may have had some role to play in determining the outcome of last night’s game.)

    Clearly, Denver did not win this game “fair and square”.

  86. Wow! Where are the Pats’ fans this morning?? They are all over nfl.com blaming the injuries, refs, etc. Brady just got beat by a q/b making his SECOND start 🙂 And, now there is 1 !!! Go Carolina/Broncos!!!!! (I do believe Peyton was in the coaches box 🙂 )

  87. 433 yards of offense for the Broncos to the Pats 301 (worst this season)
    Pats only converted 2 third downs all game and had ZERO running game.
    Pats had more than 8 punts in this game. (Most in 12 years)
    Pats blew 21-7 lead in 4th quarter and allowed Osweiler to drive the field on his last 2 drives.
    Pats are very good and may still win it all but the Broncos deserved to win this game.

  88. HA!! Nothing greater than reading these posts from Pats Fans. Lets clear up a few things. Every team has injuries, it part of the game. The refs didn’t “cheat” but I am all for eliminating the defense PI penalties that so many QB rely on to move the ball. Gronk has been known to push off (leads the league in offensive PI) so they could easily just have been watching for it. For the love of god, Goodell does not have a hate for your team other than what you brought on yourself. Crying about getting caught for cheating (twice) and admitting that you cheated, then fighting the punishment is why he “might” but unhappy with you. Grow up. You didn’t hear the Saints whine for an entire year when they lost their head coach.

  89. I don’t recall the officials letting CJ Anderson run wild. I don’t recall the officials muffing a punt. I don’t recall the officials getting burned by Sanders. I don’t recall the officials putting pressure on Brady.

    Good teams overcome bad officiating. When other teams complain, they’re crybabies, remember Pats fans? Tuck Rule ring any bells, you hypocrites?

    Hold this L!

  90. The Patriots are 10-1… going undefeated in this league is next to impossible… so what happens…

    Some the Haters are burring the Patriots again …
    Has history taught you people nothing?

    The Patriots are playing with 3rd stringers and still nearly beat the broncos … The Refs did all they could to hand that game to Denver… In the end they did.
    If they hadn’t … Denver would have lost to the Patriots backups.

  91. So much more fun when you can see the comments of the patriot fans crying as much as Tom Cry-Brady did last night.
    Phantom PI call on Gronk. Sorry saw the video he shoved his forearm into the safety to get open. Chung did grab Thomas’ shoulder pad, plan as day right in front of the ref. Whine all you want, you don’t want the flags don’t do that crap. Mathis got called for holding because he blocked a guy too well and shoved him to the ground and Talib got called for PI when he had a hand an the receivers back arm and didn’t turn him. They overcame it instead of using it as an excuse

  92. tg1896 says:
    Nov 30, 2015 7:09 AM

    Where are all the Pats fans that believe they have the greatest, most awesomest QB in the history of the world (but can’t beat a backup)?
    ———————————–

    I’d say Brady played pretty good, considering they were playing in a snow storm and he was missing nearly all of his receivers.

    It was the defense that lost the game for the Patriots, not Tom Brady.

    If you want to see some fans that are delusional about their quarterback, see all of the bozos who believe that Peyton Manning will be coming back, for the playoffs, no less.

  93. Serious question Pats fans: Do you think the Pats have ever lost a game in the last 15 years due to simply being outplayed by the opponent, or are the losses all because of the refs in your mind?

    Also, when teams lose to the Pats, is it always because they were outplayed in your mind, or is it possible that the refs occasionally play a role?

    Because when the Pats win a close game and some fans of the other team complain about bad officiating (which does go in favor of the Pats more often than not), you jump all over them for complaining and how they’re all part of #CRYBABYNATION. But now that the Pats lose a close one and didn’t get the benefit of every close call like they usually do it would seem that you’re the ones complaining and are the ones who are residents of #CRYBABYNATION.

    But because it’s the Pats that lost its a legitimate claim about the officiating right?

  94. Usually Brady complain to the refs and the refs would give unprecedented unsportsmanlike penalties to the ball boy from the game. Yesterday I think the officials would invent another rule to help the patriots. I ask what have the patriots that can to receive help from the official until the grade to invent rules in his favor, they cheat and dont receive punishment?

  95. Not sure why anyone is either shocked that the Patriots lost one game, or think that it is a death knell. They lost on the road to a very good team, in overtime, with a depleted roster and some bad in-game breaks. Losing a game does not mean you cannot win the Super Bowl, or that you are not the best team in the league. If it did, the best team in any given year would run the table. Has only happened once, in a shorter season, in a league with less parity.

    If those two teams were playing in the playoffs in Foxboro, I’d put money on the Patriots. In Denver, pick ’em. I think the Pats lose one more in the regular season, and if Denver does too, Patriots still have the 1 seed.

  96. and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that Goodell may have had some role to play in determining the outcome of last night’s game.)

    Nah. He’s not competent enough in his job to even do something like that. Even if he wanted to do something like that he’d screw it up too just like everything else.

    #WorstCommishInSportsHistory
    #YourTimeIsUp
    #GoodellMustGo

    🙂

  97. Tee hee 🙂 Look at Patriot Hater thinking about the World Champions 🙂

    They can’t live one minute without thinking about US. 🙂

    It is SO flattering knowing Patriot Hater thinks about US so much 🙂

    #WeOwnU
    #WeRuleYourWorld
    #BowToTheChamps
    #BowToTheNFLsGreatestDynasty
    #KissTheRings
    #AllFourOfThem
    #PuckerUpButtercups

    🙂

  98. Where are all the Pats fans that believe they have the greatest, most awesomest QB in the history of the world

    Rrrrrrrrright here. They lose a game every now and then.

    It’s one loss. Away game. Overtime. Tough opponent.

    Not the end.

  99. I assume that all those crying that this was the worst officiated game ever have never seen another NFL game. There was only one questionable call, the offensive pass interference on Gronk. Everything else was legit.

  100. Penalties:
    NE – 5/47
    Denver – 6/46

    Pretty even looking there. Also, although some might consider them minor, the penalties called WERE penalties (for both teams). The clock runoff after the extra timeout was CORRECT.

    Both teams had major injuries. Both teams had to deal with the refs. Denver won. Great game to watch as a football fan.

  101. Some devastating blocks on the game winning run. Three Patriots were leveled as Anderson turned the corner into the secondary. Number 68 leveled someone about 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Not possible to tackle Anderson with an arm swipe.

  102. Pat’s Fan Here!

    Actually this is a relief, better to loose week 12 than to Blow SB 50….

    Still on track to head to San Fran….

    Oh and Bronco fans, don’t get all full of Brock and his two wins… He’ll be defeated mightily before the regular season ends…

  103. For anyone to say anything about the officiating last night is ridiculous. Last week the Broncos were the recipients of EVERY flag thrown in their game against the Bears. Par for the course for the Broncos. Seems they are constantly battling the officials along with any team they are playing. Sanders nearly got killed by the exact same kind of hit the Broncos were penalized for TWO weeks in a row prior…. No call. Not to mention the constant holding of Miller in the Bears game that never got called. Suck it up Patriots fans. Broncos fans deal with it on a weekly basis.

  104. Neither the commish or the refs involved in last night’s game are smart enough to come up with a conspiracy. So, forget that, and just be glad that we may see yet another game this year beween the Broncos and Pats. Could be great…again.

  105. But…But…sniffle…sniffle…Tom is mad…Bill is mad…Were going 19-0…Sniffle…what about the middle finger tour…we cant lose to a Wade Phillips defense…sniffle…sniffle.

  106. Trolling the pages and noticed how some fans are acting like they just won the Super Bowl, or celebrating like they haven’t won a championship in years. Not so fast . . . let’s wait and see what happens before popping the champagne. Like it or not, the Panthers are still a force to be reckoned with, and so are the Bengals, Cardinals, etc. Why it could even be the Broncos or the Patriots, or the Steelers. There are still a lot of games left to be played and remember . . . real men play rugby.

  107. “Just imagine if the best QB of the last two decades was playing. It wouldn’t have even been close.”

    Are you referring to the same person who’s playing is worse than his singing . . . ‘Never though I would say that’ (Sing along with the Nationwide tune) . . . lol!

  108. I love how the Pats fans are decrying the refs yet just last week Denver racked up 118 penalty yards to Chicago’s 0 and still pulled out a win. Officiating isn’t everything.

  109. NE – 5/47
    Denver – 6/46
    —————–
    The aggregate yardage and flag counts you cite above are not the germain facts.
    It was the timing, impact, and spurious nature of the calls.
    Calling a specious holding on a 51 yard pass play isn’t really a 10 yard penalty in the sense that it cost the Pats 61 yards. The ghost holding call on Chung, mysteriously called AFTER the sack, negated a play that would have the game, and gave the Broncos a first down. Counting that as the yardage amounting half the distance to the goal does not tell the story.
    Of the Patriots 5 penalties, 4 were in the 4 th quarter. The ridiculous OPI against Gronk was called AFTER the play, after one of the ref’s genius conventions. Not a conspiracy theorist by nature, but the optics, as the kids say, are fishy, especially in the wake of Goodell being caught red handed in bold face lies via a vis his account of the Brady appeal.

  110. It’s the ref’s fault the pats lost. The refs should have done a better job plugging up those holes the broncos RBs were running through!

    @mathprof…

    Suspicious?
    Watch a replay and look at Tre’ Jackson holding Von Miller. Miller was about to pass Jackson right into Brady if Jackson didn’t hold.

    Gronk initiated contact and extended the arm….OPI

    Chung grabs the shoulder pad and alters DT’s posture going inside…holding

    Look at Talibs PI earlier in the game…refs were calling it like that from early on. Ryan ran through DT several times before the ball got there and it was never called.

  111. Thankfully one ref, who will probably now be shipped off to Siberia, was paying attention when #71 declared eligible. Took him a while to get the others to buy in. I mean, it’s easy to miss a 6’6″ 320# man running onto the field alone rubbing his chest wildly.

    Nice try though 😉

  112. All 3 of those are less egregious than stuff you can find on any play. The Chung play was incidental contact….more than that happens on every pass play. Never called if the ball is not thrown that way, and rarely then. Plus the flag was only thrown after the play was over, same as Gronk”s.
    Gronk gets mugged on every route….never called.
    Look at the blatant hold and face mask on two of the Bronco’s touchdowns. WAY more obvious and more of an infraction than The call against Jackson, which was pretty close to text book blocking. The old adage that you could call holding on every play is true. But when there is the smell of bias or agenda, questions get asked.

    Do I really think a call came from NY? No, not that I’d put anything past the league. But I do suspect that the league selectively targets specific players and sends out memos to encourage their version of parity.

    Yes, the Broncos running game was fantastic last night and the main reason they won. Turnovers and officiating aside, Denver played a great game.

  113. There is no doubt in my mind that Broncos had an advantage because of how banged up the Pats where. But to be fair, Broncos have their own injures to deal with.

    I’ll give the Pats that the PI against Chung in the end-zone was questionable. But to say it cost the Pats the game? No- momentum was on Denver’s side with at least 1 more down available – You can’t rewrite history just by recalling a flag.

    Refs targeted Pats otherwise? Patriots were called for FEWER penalties than Denver and equivalent yardage.

    It’s hard for Pats fans – they WANT to be the hated for their success. They want to think they are discredited and need to claimer on to Brady doing “more with less”.

    The reality is that Every poll shows Brady being the best in the NFL, Pats go into every game as the favorite, there is nothing but praise for how well the team has been able to overcome adversity. They easily ignore Brady leading the MVP talk.

    Brock:
    23/42 270 yards 1 TD

    Brady:
    23/42 280 yards 3 TD

    Broncos penalties:
    6 for 46 yards

    Patriots penalties:
    5 for 47 yards

    # Broncos starters out:
    Williams, Ward, Vasquez, Manning, Ware, Norwood, Ray, Sambrilo, Anunkie

    # Patriots starters out:
    Amendola, Collins, Williams, Edelman, Coleman, Hightower, Solder, Gronk

    Point of all this? Pats fans need to realize that their team isn’t perfect, that refs weren’t “out to get them” (I thought the Buffalo game refs were much worse) and yeah… a banged up Denver team with 2-time QB starter beat the the banged up Pats. Give Broncos some credit and move on to Phili.

  114. While Tom is in the twilight of his career, his career is winding down without quality weapons.

    The greatest systems quarterback of all time, deserves receivers that can catch the 5 yard passes and pick up yards while his skills continue to deteriorate .

    As many times as TB has been tossed to the turf lately makes me think we should consider Garoppolo as a starter till we get healthy for the playoffs. All the bad officiating is going to get TB severly injured. Goodell wins

  115. Broncos penalties:
    6 for 46 yards

    Patriots penalties:
    5 for 47 yards
    ——————–
    Again, these numbers do not reflect reality.
    Timing and impact. A 10 yard holding call on a 51
    yard pass play does not equal a 10 yard holding call
    on a 2 yard running play. Calling back a huge sack in the re zone
    on a phantom hold, with the flag coming after the play matters more than the 3 yards comprising half the distance to the goal.
    You might think the calls were fair and might think it was a coincidence that 4 of the flags against the Pats were in the 4 th quarter
    on big plays, but you can’t realistically argue that both teams were equally impacted based on those yardage numbers.

  116. This also does not take into account blatant non- calls…. The
    roughing the kicker, the Bronco launching himself into Brady’s head, the hook by Talib….

  117. The patriots had 2 third down conversions in the whole game. I’d say that’s why they lost the game. Not the refs.

    Btw extending your hand into the defenders chest is OPI.

    A fist full of jersey that changes the receivers route is defensive holding.

    Holding a players jersey as they try to get after the quarterback is holding.

    All the flags were thrown because they should have been thrown.

  118. Actually feel pretty good about the pats performance considering they played on the road, with 1/2 their second string on the field while getting screwed by bad officiating (and yes you dopes out there, refs can win or lose games and last night was a good example).

  119. The Facebook posts by Pats fans has been hillarious since Sunday. Having done nothing but cheat to win for the past 8 years, suddenly they’re complaining about being cheated! BWAAHAHAHAHA!

  120. I’d say the biggest questionable call was the one on Gronkers. He just did what everyone is taught to do as a TE/WR since highschool! I used to play TE in highschool, and using your elbow to seperate without fully extending your arms is the correct way to run short out/in routes. That call was ticky-tack to say the least.

    As for the defensive holding in the endzone, that one was called correctly. He grabbed DT’s shoulder when he made his cut and obviously slowed down his route. Even Brock knew it when he took the sack.. go back and watch the play, Brock immediately gets up after taking the sack looking over to where DT is because he knew it was a hold. In my honest opinion, I think the flag distracted him and he took the sack knowing he was getting a defensive holding call.

    As for the offensive holding on Brady’s bomb completion. That was obvious. The OL had his hands on the outside of the pads (grabbing his shoulder) of Von Miller while practically tackling him.

    Granted, there were some penalties on Denvers side that didn’t go there way. One of them looked exactly like the holding call on NE when Brady completed his bomb. That I can agree with, WAS a hold by him. However, there was a PI call on Talib that the officiating crew just “assumed” was PI because Talib had his hand on the WR’s back. He didn’t turn him or grab him, he just settled his hand on him as he went for the pass break up.

    As for the “extra” injury TO on Denver. All it did was stop play to enable NE to get more time making the correct call, the clock continued to run on the whistle which was correct. If they have had another injury timeout without timeouts to burn, they would then assess a penalty. However, this play should be looked back at as a play that helped NE get in a quality play and get into field goal position.

    I’m not making excuses, I’m just giving answers

  121. It is official (lol) after reading these comments New England is 197-0 except when there are officials on the field.

  122. 3. The offensive stars shine brightest, but the Broncos won with a defense that proved it can stop any quarterback.
    ————————-

    They sure didn’t stop Luck or Smith.

  123. Brady is an average QB without Hall of famers: Gronkowski and Edelman. He can’t throw a deep ball accurately. He can’t even throw a short ball as well as he used to throw before they caught him cheating by deflating balls.

    We can officially debunk the false narrative…Brady can win with any receivers.

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