Broncos Gameday Live Report: Patriots at Broncos

Published: January 19, 2014, 11:10 am, by Paul Klee

FINAL: Broncos 26, Patriots 16.

—For the first time since John Elway was the quarterback, the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl. Denver will play San Francisco or Seattle on Feb. 2 at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey.

—Mile High stadium hosted a party and a playoff game broke out. This place is shaking

—Peyton Manning’s masterpiece included 400 passing yards and two touchdowns. All that was missing was the ultimate quarterback putting his index finger to his mouth. Shhhhh.

—The Patriots were outclassed, overwhelmed and, yes, outcoached.

—Still an impressive run by a beaten-down New England squad.

—The Broncos defense, maligned for the better part of six months, allowed only 16 points in the AFC championship game. 

—Scene of the day: Pat Bowlen earning hugs and handshakes on the Broncos sideline. Starts at the top.

More coverage coming on Gazette.com.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 26, Patriots 16 — 3:07 left in fourth quarter

—About this time, David Ramsey and Klee usually discuss our column angles. There’s been no discussion so far. 

—Brent Briggeman is writing about the Chiefs.

—That should’ve been an interception for my guy Tony Carter. 

—How are the Patriots still in this game? Three field goals for the Broncos. Those usually are touchdowns.

—Huge, huge stop on the two-point conversion. Still not over yet. 

—Coach Belichick: Why, when LaGarrette Blount is on your roster, is the ball given to Shane Vereen on the goal line?

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 26, Patriots 10 — 7:00 left in fourth quarter

—Didn’t like the decision to kick a field goal from 52 and potentially give the Pats a short field.

—Matt Prater thought otherwise.

—Still a two-score game. And you know the Pats are scoring once.

—Knowshon Moreno is receiving medical attention on the sideline. Or more IVs Red Bull. His return officially is listed as questionable.

—The volume is turned up in Mile High. It’s a major rager, double-keggar live band.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 23, Patriots 10 — 9:26 left in fourth quarter

—Eighty-yard scoring drive for the Patriots. Sooner or later, Brady would show up.

—This matchup has been as lopsided as it could be expected to be. And one turnover would change everything for the Broncos.

—The Pats needed nine plays to go 80 yards. That was Tom Brady’s first touchdown pass of these playoffs — seven quarters in.

—The Broncos have enjoyed two scoring drives of at least 7 minutes. One more would put it away.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 23, Patriots 3 — 12:02 left in fourth quarter

—The Broncos are leaving points all over the field. 

—This has been far from a perfect performance by the Broncos. And they’re up 20 in an AFC championship game.

—Jack Del Rio had a long heart-to-heart, scream-to-scream with this defense on the sideline.

—With Tom Brady, it’s never over. But goodness these Patriots are so average.

Back in a few.

Klee

NE.Flying

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 20, Patriots 3 — End of third quarter

—Play of the game: Terrance Knighton, signed as a free agent last offseason, with the 4th-and-1 sack of Tom Brady.

—Knighton is three of me. And you.

—This is a clinic by Peyton Manning. He has 9,768 passing yards. Today.

—This might be Montee Ball’s best game. Knowshon Moreno greeted him after that last run.

—The Broncos are one quarter away from the Super B… nevermind. Not over yet.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 20, Patriots 3 — 5:12 left in third quarter

—MVP of the game, so far: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. 

—Mitch Unrein in…. pass coverage.

—How ya’ll feeling?

—Good stat from Andrew Mason of DenverBroncos.com: in this postseason, the Broncos have run 121 plays to their opponents’ 76.

—Not to jinx it, but…. yeah, nevermind.

Back in a few.

Klee

BRONCOS PATRIOTS

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 20, Patriots 3 — 7:52 left in third quarter

—Brent Briggeman is on the phone with a deeply rooted source. He could have some news for you.

—At what point does Shannon Sharpe call for the National Guard?  

—The sun is low enough that only half the field is affected by glare.

—Peyton Manning likes Montee Ball when the Broncos move into the red zone.

—If the Broncos hold onto this one, Adam Gase deserves a game ball. His play-calling has been magic.

Back in a few.

Klee

BRONCOS PATRIOTS

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 13, Patriots 3 — Halftime

—That’s the right call by John Fox, who has final authority on fourth down. (Shameless column plug.)

—But why call timeout before the field-goal attempt? The Broncos gave the ball to Tom Brady with 25 workable seconds.

—The difference, so far, has been Jacob Tamme’s touchdown catch (above).

—The Patriots should feel great about that first half. They were mediocre and only trail by 10.

—Good news for Broncos Country: since 2007, Peyton Manning is 55-1 when leading by at least 10 points. 

—Bad news for Broncos Country: the one loss was against New England, earlier this season.

—In other news: Peyton Manning is carving up the Patriots like my puppy carves up a new bone.

—Britton Colquitt has punted once… in the playoffs. Reminder: he’s making $4 million annually.

—Even so, during TV timeouts, Britton takes a ball onto the field and rehearses his drops. Just in case.

—Kids, go in the backyard and learn to punt.

—Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan with a big game so far.

—The Fray is your halftime performance.

—New England’s star corner, Aqib Talib, left the field and went to the locker room before halftime. The Patriots say it was a rib injury. If you’re buying that, there’s a mountain outside the Springs that’s for sale. 

—Reminder: Tom Brady is still on the other sideline.

—The media rush to the pizza buffet is like a cattle stampede.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 10, Patriots 0 — 4:44 left in first quarter

—Broncos could use a turnover here.

—Tom Brady won’t go away.

—Preseason pick to win NCAA title — Kansas — getting better and better. KU super-fan Brent Briggeman nods in agreement.

—Mile High has been consistently loud today.

—Here’s a photo gallery from pregame festivities. Some good stuff from Reis and Murdock.

—Another snap, another injury. Shaun Phillips, the Broncos’ best pass rusher, helped off the field.

—And the NFL wants to extend its season? Bananas.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 10, Patriots 0 — 7:50 left in first quarter

—After the first quarter, Peyton Manning was on pace for 444 passing yards.

—Big run from Knowshon Moreno on that scoring drive. He mainlines Red Bull before games.

—I’ll bet David Ramsey’s paycheck that Adam Gase is the offensive coordinator in Denver next season — and not a head coach elsewhere.

—Julius Thomas who? Jacob Tamme with the TD. Peyton had two guys wide open.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 3, Patriots 0 —11:22 left in first quarter

—Unreal completion to Wes Welker from Peyton Manning. That ball had eyes.

—Klee and Ramsey’s pregame video from Sports Authority Field. Yes, Klee is that much taller than Ramsey.

—If you’re keeping count… Brady has missed two throws. Peyton has missed one. 

—Virgil Green on a handoff? Adam Gase getting mischievous.

—How’s my guy Phil Simms doing? Terribly, probably.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 3, Patriots 0 — End of first quarter

—Bill Belichick is going for it here — 4th-and-16. This would be a 56-yarder.

—File this under “Worst Possible Scenarios for the Broncos”: DRC left the field due to injury.

—Fans make a big rush to the beer stand between quarters.

—Perfect drive for the Patriots (up until the penalty). Keeping PFM off the field, too.

—So, who had the Under?

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 3, Patriots 0 — 3:15 left in first quarter

 —Peyton Manning got yanked on the shoulder pad, by Chandler Jones, a terrific young player, just as he unloaded a would-be touchdown to Eric Decker. 

—With the Patriots on offense, Mile High is the loudest it’s been the past two seasons. Well, tied with the reaction after Matt Prater’s 64-yarder. Which is strange. 

—Sounds like there’s a problem with the TV broadcast in the Springs?  

—Peyton Manning is studying photographs on the sideline.

—Tom Brady isn’t worried.

—Tom Brady just missed a wide-open touchdown. He stinks in the playoffs.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 0, Patriots 0 — 6:02 left in first quarter

—Two Patriots possessions, two three-and-outs. Confidence-builder for Tony Carter?

—Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator: 0-7 vs. Tom Brady. Perhaps the most damning statistic of the millions of statistics leading into this game.

—Julius Thomas already a major part of the Broncos’ game plans. Two possessions, three receptions.

—Early evaluation: if the Broncos don’t turn it over, tough to imagine a scenario in which the Patriots can keep up.

Back in a few.

Klee

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 0, Patriots 0 — 9:22 left in first quarter

—Broncos stall. Hightower, who was available to the Broncos in the draft, made the big defensive stop.

—Eric Decker avoided the turf monster on his first catch-and-run.

—Keep an eye on this: punt returners are having a really tough time seeing the ball.

—Patriots get the two breaks of the first two possessions. Their own punt gathered a rocket booster after hitting the turf. The Broncos’ punt bounded into the end zone, with Omar Bolden overplaying it.

Back in a few.

Klee

BRONCOS PATRIOTS        BRONCOS PATRIOTS

Broncos Gameday Live Report — No. 2 Patriots at No. 1 Broncos — AFC championship — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — Kickoff (1 p.m., CBS)

—Broncos win the coin toss and defer to the second half.

Game on.

NE.Von

Broncos Gameday Live Report — No. 2 Patriots at No. 1 Broncos — AFC championship — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 15 minutes until kickoff (1 p.m., CBS)

—Von Miller appeared from the tunnel (above), wearing a Mike Tyson t-shirt. Here’s a photo, courtesy the excellent Christian Murdock.

—David Ramsey says Giselle stresses him out. In his other life, Mr. Ramsey was a Big Ten ref. His eyesight is going.

—We’ve seen multiple Colin Kaepernick jerseys here today. John Elway “really liked” Kaepernick going into that draft. He should’ve drafted him instead of trading the pick to…. San Francisco.

—The inflatable Bronco head, below the south stands, has been inflated.

—Very, very full press box.

—Is “this one for Champ?”

—The key matchup, for me, is Champ Bailey against Julian Edelman, in the slot. I expect that’s where Champ is positioned.

Back in a few.

Klee

BRONCOS PATRIOTS

Broncos Gameday Live Report — No. 2 Patriots at No. 1 Broncos — AFC championship — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 30 minutes until kickoff (1 p.m., CBS)

—Tom Brady, the chosen one, is on the field. With several beautiful steps, he touched the turf at the same time as John McDaniels. Couldn’t tell which one the crowd was booing. We’ll say McDaniels.

—Peyton Manning not wearing a helmet. He will during the game.

—Wes Welker and Peyton having a conversation at the 15-yard line. The former Patriot was the “guest” speaker for the Broncos’ pregame, pre-Patriots dinner last night.

—Early kickoff, playoff atmosphere, September weather. Mile High might set beer-sales records today.

—Official prediction: Broncos 40, Patriots 30. Book it.

Back in a few.

BRONCOS PATRIOTS

Broncos Gameday Live Report — No. 2 Patriots at No. 1 Broncos — AFC championship — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 45 minutes until kickoff (1 p.m., CBS)

—Eric Decker (ladies?) is standing on the spot where the turf monster got him last week. 

—Trindon Holliday is wearing eye black.

—Jacob Tamme is fixing his jersey.

—Interesting? David Bruton and Trindon Holliday are “practicing” a reverse, on what would be a kickoff, near the end zone. 

—No sign of Brady yet. Or Peyton, which is strange, because he’s usually on the field 55-60 minutes prior to kickoff.

Back in a few.

Klee

NE.MH    NE.Head

Broncos Gameday Live Report — No. 2 Patriots at No. 1 Broncos — AFC championship — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 90 minutes until kickoff (1 p.m., CBS)

—Fans are starting to file into Mile High. They file in much earlier when it’s 60 degrees (above).

—Ring of Famer Rod Smith is the honorary captain for the Broncos. He said this week at Dove Valley he usually called tails.

—Official prediction coming at 12:30 p.m.

—Ring of Famer Karl Mecklenburg is being interviewed on the giant videoboard.

—Biggest injury worry for the Broncos? As consistently good as Chris Harris has been, still think it’s Von Miller. The first-meeting buzz was all about Brady and Manning. But Miller was the best player on the field.

—This is the ninth AFC championship game featuring the Broncos.

—Will this be the final game as Broncos for free-agent-to-be Eric Decker? Ladies?

—Think Klee did 30 radio shows this week. Going on CBS Sports now.  Tune in!

—No sign of Tom Brady yet. Trust me, we’ll let you know

—Who wins today? Here are three storylines for today’s game (as written in Sunday’s Gazette).

Back in a few.

Klee

NE.The.Fray

Broncos Gameday Live Report — No. 2 Patriots at No. 1 Broncos — AFC championship — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — Two hours until kickoff (1 p.m., CBS)

Morning, everyone. Denver sports columnist Paul Klee joining you f0r the biggest non-Super Bowl in NFL history. Is that accurate? Brady, Manning, Super Bowl trip at stake. I think it is. Anyway, let’s get started…

—They are tailgating in T-shirts. It’s 50 degrees and sunny, with a high around 60. Sunscreen has replaced stocking caps. Good day to A) fish the South Platte B) watch a ballgame.

—Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme and Eric Decker are on the field. Eric Decker grows a beard faster than anyone I know.

—The Fray (above) is doing a sound-check on the 20-yard line. The Denver-native musical group is performing at halftime.

—The Gazette roster today: Klee, David Ramsey, Brett Briggeman. And the superb photographers Mark Reis and Christian Murdock.

—Noteworthy: I’m told the Boston Globe has 18 credentialed media here. If the Patriots lose, the Globe staff will begin camping out at Red Sox spring training camp, and New England will forget today’s game.

—Here is today’s column: The greatest quarterback at Mile High today isn’t on the field.

Feel free to send emails (paul.klee@gazette.com) or check in via Twitter with any observations or questions. This Live Report will be like the others — we’ll be here through the final horn. Back in a few.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette