FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Stephen Gostokowski kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime to cap a wild comeback for a 34-31 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
A mishap on a punt set the Patriots up in position to kick the game-winner.
Denver blew a 24-point lead, then staged a comeback of their own that sent the game into overtime.
Peyton Manning’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas with 3:06 left in regulation tied the game at 31.
The Patriots fumbled on their first three possessions to spot Denver a 24-point halftime lead before scoring 31 points in a row, taking the lead when Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman for a TD early in the fourth. Stephen Gostkowski’s 31-yard field goal made it 31-24 midway through the fourth.
But Manning, who had thrown for only 73 yards in the first 3½ quarters, led the Broncos on an 80-yard drive. Twice the Broncos were rescued by penalties: First when a defensive holding penalty negated an interception, and again when a pass interference on third-and-7 from the Patriots 17 gave Denver a first down.
On the next play, Manning lobbed one to Thomas in the left corner of the end zone.
Brady led the Patriots to three conseutive touchdowns in the third quarter to cut Denver’s lead to 24-21 heading into the fourth. He was 21 for 26 for 228 yards and three TDs in the second half of the much-heralded matchup with Manning that was dominated by turnovers early on.
New England had lost five fumbles all season coming into the game and was sixth in the NFL in net turnovers. But Stevan Ridley, who coughed it up on the opening drive, has fumbled in three consecutive games, losing two.