To start the second quarter, the New England Patriots had driven just outside the Denver Broncos red zone. Denver brought the house on third down and forced the Patriots to kick a field goal for their first points of the game.
Broncos 7, Patriots 3.
On the Broncos next possession, they got things going with a scrambled from Russell Wilson and a toss to Jaleel McLaughlin that got them out to midfield. Then a dump off over the middle to McLaughlin again for another 13 yards put them into fringe field goal range.
The drive came to a screeching halt when Javonte Williams fumbled a screen pass and the Patriots defender ripped the ball away from the Broncos offensive lineman who had fallen on the ball. The call was reviewed, but somehow it was upheld. Denver’s defense would force an immediate three-and-out, but that fumble ruling hurt.
The good news for Denver is that their offense continued to have success against the Patriots vaunted defense. Despite the setbacks, they again crossed midfield in the second quarter. However, a really tough unnecessary roughness penalty on Quinn Meinerz killed that momentum to setup a 1st and 25. That would lead to a predictable punt as the Broncos offense is rarely able to overcome such events.
Bailey Zappe led the Patriots across midfield late in the second quarter to give them a chance to score before halftime. With half a minute left in the first half, the Patriots whiff a field goal wide right to keep the score 7-3 in favor of the Broncos.
In a hurry up, the Broncos quickly got the ball across midfield with 18 seconds left in the half and Russell Wilson was able to clock the ball with two seconds left at the Patriots 39-yard line. Wil Lutz would also miss his field goal attempt, but from 57-yards.