The Denver Broncos are reeling.
They have now lost three of their past five games, and Sunday’s loss to Tennessee was particularly painful.
The Titans ran the ball down Denver’s throat in the first half, jumping out to an early 13-point lead. Finally, the Broncos woke up and nearly made the comeback, but it was too little and too late. The Broncos lost 13-10, and fell to 8-5 on the season.
While the Broncos are still currently clinging to a playoff spot, they have the NFL’s toughest schedule over their final three games.
The dreaded New England Patriots, who are rolling along at 11-2 and sitting atop the AFC with the No. 1 seed.
It looks like another loss for our beloved Broncos.
Or does it?
While Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is considered by many to be one of the greatest to ever play the game, he is just 6-9 all-time against the Denver Broncos in his career. And while playing in the Mile-High City, Brady has a paltry 2-7 record.
There have a been a number of times that Brady and the Patriots have come to Denver as favorites, but things haven’t always gone according to plan. Here are a few of the more memorable games when Brady and the Patriots came to Denver:
The First: Broncos 31 Patriots 20, Oct 28, 2001
Brady had been named the starter after spending his rookie season on the bench behind No. 1 quarterback Drew Bledsoe, but Bledsoe was lost for the season in Week 2, and Brady took over. He won three of his first four starts, and then came to Denver. The Broncos defense forced Brady into four interceptions, two of them by Denver cornerback Deltha O’Neal. The Patriots would go on to win Super Bowl XXXVI, but they couldn’t beat the Broncos in Denver.
Bailey Picks Brady: Broncos 27 Patriots 13, Jan 14, 2006
The Patriots were defending Super Bowl champs, had gone 10-6 and steamrolled the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card game. Now they would meet the Broncos in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs.
Late in the third quarter, it looked like they were going to give the Broncos trouble too.
The Broncos were clinging to a 10-6 lead, but the Patriots offense was inside the Denver 10-yard line, looking to take the lead.
On third and goal, Brady threw the ball into the end-zone, where it was picked off by Broncos All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey, who returned it 103 yards to the Patriots 1-yard line. Broncos running back Mike Anderson would capitalize on the Bailey return, by punching in a 1-yard touchdown run, and the Broncos would send the Patriots home with another memorable loss.
The Reunion Game: Broncos 20 Patriots 17, Oct 11, 2009
Pat Bowlen had made the difficult decision to fire head coach Mike Shanahan after the 2008 season. Shanahan was replaced by none other than Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who found himself going against his old team in Week 5.
The Broncos had started off the season well under their new coach, winning their first four games.
In this game, Denver came back from a 10-point deficit to beat the Patriots in overtime, thanks to a 330-yard passing game from quarterback Kyle Orton. The Broncos were 5-0, McDaniels was ecstatic and wide receiver Brandon Marshall gave his new coach a big hug at the postgame press conference. McDaniels then went 6-17 over his next 23 games and was fired midway through the 2010 NFL season.
Manning Beats Brady: Broncos 26 Patriots 16, Jan 19, 2014
Peyton Manning had been hearing that he couldn’t beat Tom Brady for years.
During his time in Indianapolis and since joining the Broncos, Manning had been just 4-10 against Brady and the Pats. Now, they would meet for the third time in the AFC Championship game, with the Super Bowl on the line. But Manning and the Broncos offense were the most prolific offense in NFL history in 2013.
Denver jumped on top of the Patriots 23-3 in the fourth quarter, and held the ball for over 35 minutes. Manning and the Broncos would go on to the Super Bowl to face the Seattle Seahawks.
Von Miller Dominates: Broncos 20 Patriots 18, Jan 24, 2016
While it would be Peyton Manning and Tom Brady meeting in the playoffs for the fifth and final time, it would be Von Miller and the Denver defense that would dominate this game.
Brady would throw for over 300 yards, but he would also throw two interceptions.
Miller would finish the game with five tackles, 2.5 sacks and one of those interceptions.
Once again, it would be the Broncos advancing to the Super Bowl, and Von Miller would go on to become that game’s MVP, too.