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Broncos' running attack finds its footing in huge OT win against Patriots

The Broncos' defense kept the game from getting out of hand, and C.J. Anderson made sure Broncos got the upper hand in a dogfight with the Patriots Sunday night.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images


(oh, and good morning, Broncos Country!)

In a cold and snowy prime-time football game, teams need a solid rushing attack and a steadfast defense. And it helps to have a pretty good quarterback too.

The Broncos had all three on Sunday night as they knocked the Patriots down a notch, handing the AFC East team its first loss of the season.

Starting in just his second regular season NFL game - first one at home and first one in prime time - Brock Osweiler once again showed he is ready for the big stage as he shook off mistakes and helped the Broncos come back in the fourth quarter before C.J. Anderson busted a move and took it to the house for a 30-24 victory over the Pats.

Finishing 23 of 42 for 270 yards with one touchdown and one interception, Osweiler connected with 9 players, Emmanuel Sanders topping the list at 113 yards (for the record, Brady was 23 of 42 for 280). But it was running game flexing some muscle and ramming it down the Patriots' collective throats via a 48-yard run in overtime that sealed the deal and put the Broncos at 9-2 on the season.

And the best part? Well, who are we kidding...there were about 100 "best parts" but among them was the opportunity to keep our hopes alive for winning the AFC and home field advantage in the playoffs. Sure it's a bit of a long shot, but so was beating the undefeated Patriots (according to some), and look how that turned out?

The win did not come without its costs, however, as Broncos lost T.J. Ward and Sylvester Williams in the second quarter - both requiring MRIs today - as well as Louis Vasquez in the second half. Defense at least has some depth, but the offensive line - already down starters - cannot take too many more hits.

And though the penalties were more favorable to the Broncos this time around, personal foul calls against Von Miller and Aqib Talib were still disappointing. Need to clean those up.

But all in all, it was a beautiful game - hard fought in tough conditions the way real football is supposed to be played. And it ended with a beautiful result - a big, fat W.

Enjoy this one, Broncos Country...we deserve it.

Horse Tracks

Osweiler credits Peyton for halftime adjustments | ProFootballTalk
Peyton Manning didn't play for the Broncos last night, but he did help them win. Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that the Broncos made halftime adjustments based on Manning's observations of the first half.

Three Keys, Unlocked: Broncos 30, Patriots 24 (OT) | Andrew Mason
C.J. Anderson and the offense found balance, which was one of the keys to the thrilling overtime win that ended the Patriots' unbeaten start.

Osweiler leads Broncos to wild comeback win over Pats -
Brock Osweiler turned on the heat late against the Patriots at a snowy Mile High, leading the Broncos to a wild 30-24 win in overtime and ending New England's perfect season.

In the end, Brock Osweiler was a man in control
It was just his second career start, but when it mattered most Sunday, Brock Osweiler was the equal of the great Tom Brady.

Broncos’ bests/worsts vs. Patriots: C.J. Anderson and Brock Osweiler
The best and worst from the Broncos’ 30-24 overtime win over New England in their Week 12 game on Sunday.

C.J. Anderson runs to win;Brock Osweiler continues strong play
The Broncos running game has sprung to life under quarterback Brock Osweiler. That can't be dismissed when evaluating his play.

Tom Brady on hit on Rob Gronkowski: Not dirty -
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady saw his star tight end go down with an ugly knee injury in the fourth quarter, but didn't make excuses following his team's loss to the Broncos.

After Gronk knee injury, Brady says rules force low hits | ProFootballTalk
The Patriots had to finish last night's game without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered an injury when he took a hit to the knee. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says those hits are the natural extension of the league's emphasis on avoiding hits to the head.

Brock Osweiler leads Broncos to overtime win over Patriots - The Denver Post
As long as there were 75,617 in full throat, as long as there was bone-chilling conditions, there was still a chance for the Broncos.

Demaryius Thomas climbs Broncos' all-time list in forgettable night
Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas was 1-of-13 for 36 yards against the Patriots.

Peyton Manning watches Broncos' win over Patriots from locker area - The Denver Post
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning missed his second consecutive game with torn plantar fascia in his left foot.

You might want to watch this C.J. Anderson game-winning TD AGAIN!
Denver running back C.J. Anderson dashed through the snow for 48 yards for a game-winning touchdown in overtime to give the Broncos a win over the Patriots on Sunday at Sports Authority Field.

Denver Broncos lose starters T.J. Ward, Sylvester Williams, Louis Vasquez in first half versus New England Patriots
Denver lost starters T.J. Ward, Sylvester Williams and Louis Vasquez in the first half against the New England Patriots.

Patriots lose game to Broncos, maybe more with Rob Gronkowski injury - NFL Nation- ESPN
The Patriots' unbeaten dreams are finished, and if Rob Gronkowski's injury is serious, it could be a devastating development.

Von Miller up and down in Broncos' win - NFL Nation- ESPN
Von Miller's overtime sack set the stage for Denver's win, but a roughing the passer penalty after halftime could have cost the Broncos dearly.

Can Denver love Brock Osweiler? Beating Patriots gave fans orange crush - The Denver Post
The Denver Broncos' quarterback will have his ups and downs, fans say after Brock Osweiler's first home start, but only time will tell if a Bro-mance ...

Peyton Manning watches Broncos' win over Patriots from locker area - The Denver Post
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning missed his second consecutive game with torn plantar fascia in his left foot.

Pittsburgh Steelers defense fades in big moments in Seattle loss - NFL Nation- ESPN
When the Steelers don't turn the ball over, they're a good team. On Sunday in Seattle, they turned the ball over.

Eli Manning's interceptions dig too big a hole for Giants - NFL Nation- ESPN
The Giants were unable to overcome Eli Manning's three interceptions and a late rally fell short in a 20-14 loss to Washington.

Brandon Marshall up, D'Brickashaw Ferguson down in Jets' win - NFL Nation- ESPN
A look at the players who stood out, for better or worse, against the Dolphins.

NFL playoff picture: Who's in, who's out with five weeks left to play - NFL Nation- ESPN
Look out for the Texans and Seahawks, who are on the rise after Week 12 victories.