An avalanche by the name of the New England Patriots laid waste to the Denver Broncos 41-16 last Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (7-2) led from start to finish and have won five straight games and tied their AFC road record with a 12th straight victory.
Meanwhile the Broncos (3-6) are going in the opposite direction, having dropped five consecutive games.
New England was practically flawless behind quarterback Tom Brady…
New England was practically flawless behind quarterback Tom Brady, a five-time Super Bowl champion, who delivered three touchdown passes without an interception.
“The offensive line did a great job and so did our running game,’’ said Brady, a four-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, who has 19 touchdown passes with two picks.
Brady (25 of 34 for 266 yards) also established an NFL record for road wins by a quarterback at 86, snapping the mark held by Peyton Manning.
Brady was asked why he selected running backs and tight ends as his primary targets. “It was just the matchups,’’ he said.
Brady’s 14-yard toss to running back Rex Burkhead (27 yards on three catches and 36 yards on 10 carries) opened the scoring with 12:36 left in the first period.
When Brady and tight end Dwayne Allen hooked up on an 11-yard strike and 25 seconds left in the second frame, the Patriots (396 total net yards) pulled ahead 27-9.
Brady’s final scoring pass went to running back James White (11 yards on three receptions and seven yards on two carries) with 9:04 left in the fourth quarter, traveled six yards and capped a 94-yard, 16-play march that made it 41-16.
After Brandon McManus converted a 39-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 8:39 left in the first quarter, running back Dion Lewis answered with a 103-yard kickoff return as the Patriots powered ahead 14-3.
Lewis (55 yards on 14 carries) also tacked on an eight-yard burst with 4:36 on the clock in the third quarter that made it 34-16.
When Stephen Gostkowski booted a 25-yard field goal with 13:38 showing in the second quarter it became 17-6 and his 28-yarder with 8:47 on the ticker before the half extended the margin to 20-6.
After quarterback Brock Osweiler (18 of 33 for 221 yards and one pick) hit wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (44 yards on five receptions) with a seven-yard bullet and 7:54 left in the third period, Denver (339 total yards) drew within 27-16.
McManus added a 33-yarder with 5:18 left in the first period that sliced the lead to 14-6 and a 36-yarder with 2:36 remaining before halftime that lowered it to 20-9.
Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at email@example.com.