The New England Patriots opened the second half with the ball. The Denver Broncos quickly forced a third and six where Bradley Chubb strip-sacked Cam Newton. In the scrum, the Patriots averted disaster by recovering the fumble and bringing out the punt unit.
Bradley Chubb gets a free shot on Cam. pic.twitter.com/OeqG1bRk0u— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 18, 2020
A beautiful 60-yard punt with a 5.3 hangtime pinned the Broncos back to their own 15-yard line to start their first possession of the second half.
Denver would open that first possession with an inside hand-off for a quick five yard gain. Then Drew Lock, from the shotgun, found Jerry Jeudy over the middle for a 16-yard gain and a first down.
Two plays later, Royce Freeman whiffed on a block to cause a 12-yard sack on Lock bringing up a third down and 21. Lock went deep to Tim Patrick for a huge first down for a 35-yard gain. Patrick has been huge in this game up this point with 3 catches for 93 yards.
Lindsay burst through the middle on first down for a nine yard gain to the Patriots 31-yard line. Freeman would take the next hand-off to get the first down for Denver. Two plays later, Lock went right back to Jerry Jeudy for a 17-yard gain to put Denver back in the red zone to the Patriots 12-yard line.
The Broncos hit the ground on first down with Lindsay gaining four yards down to the Patriot eight. Lock hit Albert Okwuegbunam on a perfect pass in the end zone, but the defender knocked the ball out as he was coming down with it. On third and six from the eight, Lock went to Patrick where the pass fell incomplete again. A defensive holding call on Patrick gave Denver a first and goal at the four yard line.
Pat Shurmur can't quit isolation routes. Can't. pic.twitter.com/QGNFALjEbe— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 18, 2020
After two straight runs by Lindsay for a total of a one yard loss, Drew Lock on third and goal from the five gets blasted at the two yard line to force a fourth and goal from the two. From there, Brandon McManus came out to increase the Broncos lead to 15-3.
On the Patriots next drive, the Broncos defense again stood up. First another Shelby Harris batted pass and then a big time forced fumble by rookie Michael Ojemudia that was scooped up by Justin Simmons and returned for a return to the Patriots 42-yard line.
O.J. with a nice punch to force the fumble. pic.twitter.com/hQXap2Fltn— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 18, 2020
The Broncos took over with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter. The quarter would end with Denver threatening. From the Patriots 36-yard line on third and four, Lock would have his pass to DaeSean Hamilton batted away.
Bill Belichick would decline a hands to the face penalty maybe thinking Brandon McManus would miss his sixth field goal from 54 yards. McManus was McMoney to put Denver up 18-3 with the third quarter winding down.
On the first play, Cam Newton would throw into traffic to N’Keal Harry where Bryce Callahan would pick off the ball to set Denver up at the Patriots 39-yard line with less than 30 seconds left in the third quarter. The ball was picked off thanks to a tip from Justin Simmons.