Well, if America was truly pulling for the Denver Broncos last night, then the Patriots played the role of spoiler, erasing a 24-0 halftime deficit and beating Peyton Manning and the Broncos 34-31 in overtime in Gillette Stadium.
If you left the game, or tuned out…I can’t really say I blame you all that much. I was almost to that point. The start of that game last night reminded one of the 2010 playoff game against Baltimore, where New England couldn’t get out of its own way, handing the ball and scores to the opponent in bunches.
It seems like halftime was the worst possible thing that could’ve happened to the Broncos, who then gave up 31 straight points before sending the game to OT with a Manning TD pass in the fourth.
Wes Welker’s return to Foxborough probably was not as triumphant as he would’ve liked, as the former Patriot dropped a couple of passes, and contributed to the muffed punt which led to the winning field goal for New England.
He was certainly a focus before and after the game, with ESPN and NBC conducting interviews with him.
For ESPN, Welker was interview by Tedy Bruschi, and this quote was interesting:
On a difference he noticed going from the Patriots to the Broncos …Welker: “It’s just different as far as the media in general. You have 15 reporters trying to get you to slip up just a little bit, where in Denver it’s a little bit of a different feel.”
They routinely get ripped for it, but isn’t it interesting that almost every player who leaves here has something to say about the media?
Also on ESPN was the segment with ex-Patriots talking about the “Patriot Way” (as defined by ESPN) which is getting rid of star players in favor of lesser-known (and less expensive) players. Ty Law and Drew Bledsoe were among those interviewed. Here are some notes:
On NBC, Bob Costas had the interview with Welker, and Scott Pioli and Tony Dungy had some interesting things to say about the relationship between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, which has led to them sharing thoughts and advice over the years.
Locally, a highlights from the postgame were Rosevelt Colvin on Fifth Quarter, asking Belichick during his press conference “Who was your favorite all-time linebacker from the city of Indianapolis, Indiana?” Which actually made Belichick smile, and he went bounding up the aisle to greet Colvin once he finished with his press conference.
Then of course, there was Ron Borges, breaking out the appropriate headwear for his night:
Tom E Curran ruined a few storylines: Welker-less Patriots have a Jules in the slot
And from NBC:
Last night’s NBC Sunday Night Football thriller featuring Tom Brady leading the New England Patriots to a team-record setting 34-31 overtime win against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in “Manning-Brady XIV” – the 14th meeting between the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks – posted a 17.0 overnight rating and 28 share (8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET) marking the best primetime overnight for a November game in 17 years and a 26% increase over last season’s Week 12 SNF game (13.5 for Green Bay-New York Giants).
The Patriots’ epic comeback victory – they trailed 24-0 at halftime – kept viewers tuned in late, as the SNF overnight rating peaked from 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET at 17.9/34 (full half-hour rating chart below). In addition, SNF more than doubled the overnight rating of primetime’s second-ranked entertainment show for the night – the American Music Awards (8.2/12 on ABC)
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