The Patriots were down 15 points with 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, but they were able to make a game of it against the Broncos.
J.C. Jackson intercepted Drew Lock to set up a Nick Folk field goal that cut Denver’s lead to 18-12 and Jonathan Jones intercepted Lock’s next pass to give the Patriots another shot to take the lead. It was a deep shot to Tim Patrick, so the Patriots had to drive 72 yards to pull out the win.
A 22-yard gain by James White got them to midfield and Cam Newton ran four yards to convert a fourth down inside the Denver 40-yard-line just before the two minute warning. Newton then caught a pass from Julian Edelman for 16 more yards as the Patriots reached deep into their bag of tricks at the end of a frustrating offensive day.
It would end as a frustrating day. Newton was sacked by Malik Reed and then threw an incomplete pass toward N’Keal Harry on fourth down to give the ball back to Denver. That made the Broncos 18-12 winners in a game that was postponed from Week Five due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Patriots organization.
Newton had one of those tests and he threw a pair of interceptions that helped the Broncos build their lead over the first three quarters. That lead wasn’t insurmountable thanks to the Patriots’ ability to limit the Broncos to six field goals, but it was a listless performance across the board for a New England team that only practiced a couple of times over the last two weeks.
If all goes well, they’ll get more on-field time ahead of next Sunday’s home game against the 49ers.
Reed had a pair of sacks for the Broncos and Phillip Lindsay ran 23 times for 101 yards in his first game since hurting his foot in the opener. Lock struggled in his first game back from a right shoulder injury and ended the day 10-of-24 for 189 yards.
He was a winner, though, and the 2-3 Broncos will try to get to .500 against the Chiefs next weekend.