The New England Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos, 31-21, on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The Patriots racked up nearly 450 yards of total offense and 35 first downs in the victory.
Behind Tom Brady's efficient performance, the Patriots scored early and often on Denver's defense, which came into the game ranked No. 8 in the NFL in yards allowed. Long, punishing offensive possessions, combined with key Denver turnovers, allowed the Patriots to take a 31-7 lead late in the third quarter.
Still, it took a big play from Rob Ninkovich to seal the victory for the Patriots. Ninkovich, who also forced Peyton Manning to fumble in the third quarter, stripped the football from Willis McGahee as the Broncos were threatening to pull to within a field goal with under four minutes left in the game. New England recovered the ball, and chewed up the remainder of the clock. Meanwhile, Manning, who threw for 345 yards and three scores, and the Broncos came up just short.
Fantasy studs: Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (28 carries, 151 yards, TD); Broncos QB Peyton Manning (31/44, 345 yards, 3 TD)
Fantasy duds: Denver's defense (444 yards and 31 points allowed; 1 forced turnover)
Be sure to check out SB Nation's fantasy hub for more.
Did they cover? New England came in as a 6-point favorite, and while Denver made it close at the end, the Patriots still covered the spread. The over/under of 51 was barely surpassed, as well.
To view betting lines for games from around the league, check out SB Nation's NFL odds page.
Up next: New England: Oct. 14 at Seattle; Denver: Oct. 15 at San Diego
For more on this game: Visit Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston for additional coverage on the Patriots, and head over to Mile High Report and SB Nation Denver for further news and analysis on the Broncos.