Denver Broncos, New England Patriots regular-season game means nothing now

2:10 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) reacts after a pass was dropped by one of his receivers during overtime against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
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KUSA - Losing a game in overtime after taking a 24-point lead, no matter how hard the Broncos try, can be hard to forget. Thursday, the Broncos said they have moved on from the Week 12 loss at New England. Really.

They know Sunday's AFC championship game against the Patriots will have a different vibe, and not just because it's in Denver. It's not often that New England gives up fumbles on its first three drives to fall behind 17-0.

"You want to start every game like that, but we didn't play 60 minutes," Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips said Thursday.

The Broncos turned it into a 24-0 lead by halftime on Nov. 24 at Gillette Stadium, but the Patriots' offense came back in the second half for a 34-31 win in overtime.

Both teams have had to adjust to a number of injuries since then, so while many of the key players remain there have been adjustments in the supporting casts.

"You look at things - matchups, schemes," coach John Fox said, "but that game will have little to nothing to do with this game."

After the Patriots took a 31-24 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the Broncos tied the game on Peyton Manning's 11-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.

"It was a great game," Thomas said, "but we thought we had it."

At that point, the Broncos seemed to regain the momentum, but couldn't score on its final drive in regulation then in overtime lost the ball when a Patriots' punt hit Tony Carter at the Broncos' 13-yard line. The Patriots kicked a 31-yard field goal three plays later for the win.

"This game will be different. They're going to have something different for us," offensive coordinator Adam Gase said Thursday. "Some of the stuff they did last time, Bill [Belichick] will just do it better."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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