The New England Patriots entered tonight’s game at Gillette having lost their last two playoff games at home. It was clear from the first drive of the game that the Denver Broncos would not be adding a third loss for New England here tonight. The Patriots made it look easy with a 45-10 win over the Broncos. New England’s offense came out gunning as Brady drove the Patriots 80 yards in under two minutes getting the early 7-0 lead on a TD pass to Wes Welker and the extra point by Gostkowski. It wouldn’t be long before the Patriots offense was at it again. Working from their own 41 yard line after forcing a Tim Tebow fumble, the Patriots started another quick scoring drive capped off by a spectacular 10 yard TD catch by Gronkowski.
The Patriots defense continued to keep Tebow and the Broncos in check in the 1st quarter forcing a punt after a 6 play drive. However Brady was picked off on the Patriots next drive. The Broncos made the most of their ensuing possession driving the ball 24 yards with a 5 yard TD run by McGahee. The Patriots would have great field position starting their next drive on their own 40 yard line. A quick 10 yard pass to Gronkowski brought the Patriots over midfield. Brady’s next two passes however would go incomplete forcing a Patriots punt pinning the Broncos inside their own 10 yard line. After 2 run plays, Tebow found the Broncos facing a 3rd and 4 inside their own 20 but he was unable to convert a 1st down getting tackled for no gain after a quick scramble.
On their next drive Brady look determined to move the ball quickly. They marched down field seemingly at will scoring their 3rd TD of the game as Brady hit Gronkowski for his 2nd TD catch of the night. The Patriots were enjoying a nice 21-7 lead only midway through the 2 quarter. The Broncos would need to start showing some signs of offensive life if they were to keep this game in reach but Tebow looked lost and the Broncos were once again forced to punt. The Patriots were unable to capitalize on great field position this time going four and out.
On their next offensive drive the Patriots once again wasted no time in scoring. They went 72 yards in just 30 seconds scoring their 4th TD of the of half on a 61 yard TD pass to Deion Branch. With a 28-7 lead and less than a minute left the Patriots had the ball again with one more chance to bury the Broncos before the half. Brady didn’t disappoint the home crowd adding another Touchdown hitting Gronkowski for his 3rd TD catch of the half. With a 35-7 halftime lead this one was all but over. Tom Brady set an NFL playoff record with 5 TD passes in the 1st half.
The Patriots wouldn’t let up in the 2nd half. After shutting Denver down on their first offensive possession, Brady and the Patriots added to their lead with a TD pass to Hernandez on their next possession as Tom Brady tied the full game record of 6 TD passes in a playoff game with most of the 2nd half left to play. On the other side Tim Tebow and the Denver offense struggled to get any momentum going as the Patriots defense looked better than it did all year.
With just over 2 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter the Broncos were finally able to add to their total with a field goal making it 42-10. New England’s juggernaut offense continued to roll as the Patriots added a field goal of their own to start the 4th quarter. With a chance inside the 10 yard line Tebow failed to get a TD throwing the ball away on 4th down.
The Patriots will now await the winner of Sunday’s Texans vs Ravens game. Regardless of who wins the Patriots will host the AFC Championship game at home on Sunday 1/22. Patriots tickets are now available for this game.