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Defining Moments: Patriots 41, Broncos 16

Posted Nov 12, 2017

These were the moments that kept Denver in their contest against New England for most of Sunday night.

Sanders’ big evening

Emmanuel Sanders turned in his best performance since a game against Kansas City last November with a six-catch, 137-yard outing against New England. Brock Osweiler found Sanders early and often, including on a 38-yard pass to Sanders midway through the first quarter. The catch moved the Broncos to the edge of field-goal range, and a C.J. Anderson run pushed them the rest of the way. Though the Broncos would settle for their second field goal of the night, the score kept them within range of the Patriots.

The defense holds

Following the Broncos’ third special teams miscue of the evening, the Denver defense held strong. The Patriots, who blocked a Riley Dixon punt and took over on the Denver 30-yard line, looked to take a commanding lead early in the second quarter. Denver’s defense would hold the Patriots to a single first down on the drive, though, and New England was forced to settle for a field goal. Stephen Gostkowski’s 28-yard field goal gave the Patriots a 20-6 lead, but the defense’s big stop made sure the Broncos would remain within two possessions.

Thomas scores again

Denver’s offense held up its side of the bargain to begin the third quarter as they traveled 75 yards in 13 plays to score the team’s first touchdown of the game. The Broncos used four plays of at least 10 yards to move the ball, and Osweiler once again found Sanders for the biggest play of the drive. Denver, which also converted three third downs on the drive, would score initially on an Anderson run, but the touchdown was called back following an offensive holding call. The Broncos would cash in for real on a 7-yard Osweiler pass to Demaryius Thomas. After nearly a year without a touchdown catch, Thomas has now scored in two consecutive games.

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