(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) — Stephen Gostowski drilled a 31-yard field goal in overtime as the New England Patriots rallied to stun the Denver Broncos 34-31 in overtime on Sunday night.
With the clock winding down in the extra period, Nate Ebner recovered a muffed punt at the Denver 13-yard line to set up the game-winning kick. Tony Carter ran into the ball and Ebner wasted no time on the recovery.
“What a crazy game and what a fun finish,” Gostkowski said.
The Patriots (8-3) fumbled the football three times in the first quarter and watched the Broncos enter halftime on their home field with a 24-0 lead.
“You can’t move the ball when you’re losing it,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “You’ve got to hang onto it.”
New England scored on its first five possessions of the second half to take a 28-24 lead behing three touchdown passes from Tom Brady,
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas late in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 31, but interim head coach Jack Del Rio knew they let this one slip away.
“It was really a tale of two halves,” Del Rio said. “We forced turnovers and jumped on them early. They forced turnovers and jumped on us at the end.
The Broncos (9-2) remain tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for first place in the AFC West. The Patriots now lead the AFC East by three games with five to play.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire