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Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wrap-up: Broncos 20, Patriots 17



Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


The mood must be dreary in New England.

One the same day the Boston Red Sox were swept from the playoffs, the New England Patriots failed to close out a quality opponent and were caught from behind.

The Denver Broncos scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to force overtime and beat the Patriots 20-17 at Invesco Field.

Broncos head coach and former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels exhibited rookie enthusiasm after the game, apparently snubbing old boss Bill Belichick to run toward and end zone and pump his first for the fans. Belichick searched for McDaniels to congratulate him, but wandered off the field with a perplexed look on his face.

The Patriots are 3-2, muddling the AFC East standings.

The Miami Dolphins (1-3) actually can pull within a game of first place if they defeat the New York Jets (3-1) at home Monday night.

The Patriots scored the first 10 points and led 17-7 at halftime, but their lead could have been greater if not for a Logan Mankins personal foul that pushed them out of field-goal range.

McDaniels was comfortable throwing throughout the afternoon. Kyle Orton completed 35 of his 48 attempts for 330 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

The Broncos tied the game with 5:27 left in regulation on an 11-yard pass to Brandon Marshall.

Tom Brady had a chance to stick it to his old play-caller with a late drive. New England had the ball at the Denver 49-yard line right after the two-minute warning, but Mike Nolan's defense maintained the second-half shutout when Vonnie Holliday forced a Brady fumble.

The Broncos won the coin flip to start sudden death, and the Patriots offense never took the field. Matt Prater kicked a 41-yard field goal for victory.

Brady was 19 of 33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, but the Broncos removed Randy Moss from the game.

Moss finished with as many catches on defense as he had on offense. Put on the field at the end of the first half to prevent a Hail Mary pass, Moss came down with an interception. He had one catch for 36 yards on offense.