McManus’ 6 FGs lift Broncos over Pats in COVID-delayed game
Broncos win second straight, 2-3 record
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Denver’s Brandon McManus had six field goals and linebacker Malik Reed came up with a big sack late to help the Broncos hold on for an 18-12 win over the New England Patriots in a game twice delayed following positive coronavirus tests for both teams.
The Broncos' win snapped a four-game losing streak in New England. Denver won despite being without leading rusher Melvin Gordon and top pass catcher Noah Fant, who was out with an ankle injury.
Phillip Lindsay started in Gordon’s place and rushed 23 times for 101 yards. Tim Patrick had four catches for 101 yards.
The Patriots opened their first possession of the game with five straight runs before Newton had a screen pass attempt to James White deflected by defensive end Shelby Harris and intercepted by defensive lineman DeShawn Williams. It was Harris' 11th tipped pass since 2019, which leads all NFL defensive linemen.
Denver’s ensuing drive quickly stalled after three plays. But Brandon McManus added his second field goal to make it 6-0.
New England drove to the Denver 19 late in the second quarter on its third possession of the game. But that drive was upended when Joe Thuney snapped the ball over Newton’s head for a loss of 15 yards. The Patriots had to settle for Nick Folk’s 41-yard field goal.
It was 12-3 in the third quarter when Denver was facing a third-and-6 on the New England 8. Gilmore got caught behind Tim Patrick and was called for defensive holding in the end zone. It gave the Broncos a fresh set of downs and eventually ended in McManus' 20-yard field goal.
Then in the third quarter, tight end Ryan Izzo had a costly fumble following a catch in Broncos' territory that set up McManus' 54-yard field goal.
Newton’s touchdown run and another field goal by Folk got the Patriots within a touchdown in the closing minutes. But Newton’s rushed pass attempt on fourth down to receiver N’Keal Harry ended up well wide and clinched Denver’s victory.
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