KUSA - With a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, the Denver Broncos held a 13-3 lead at halftime Sunday against the visiting New England Patriots.
The Broncos scored on their last two drives of the half as they accumulated 270 total yards in the first half. The Denver defense kept Tom Brady and the New England offense at bay and just 119 yards.
Peyton Manning was 17-of-24 passing for 210 yards and a touchdown pass, while Brady was 9-of-15 for 114 yards. The Patriots running game was stuffed by Denver, and LaGarrette Blount had just six yards on five carries.
Denver settled for a second field goal on their final drive of the first half to take a 13-3 lead with 25 seconds to play in the second quarter. The Patriots weren't able to score in the closing seconds.
Making a statement drive, Denver went 93 yards in 15 plays to take a 10-0 lead with 7:50 left in the first half. Manning (44 yards on 4-of-7 passing) and Moreno (41 yards on four carries) teamed to keep the drive rolling. Denver converted three third-down plays and chewed 7 minutes off the clock. It tied as their longest drive of the seasons.
New England responded and drove into the red zone for the first time. But a Robert Ayers sack of Brady on third-and-8 moved the Patriots back to the Broncos' 29-yard line, and New England had to settle for a 47-yard field goal to narrow the gap to 10-3 with 3 minutes left in the first half.
The Patriots went three-and-out on its first two drives, and Denver took a 3-0 lead on Matt Prater's 27-yard field goal after the Broncos' second drive stalled in the red zone.
Neither team scored on their first possession. The Broncos' defense started strong, forcing Brady to a three-and-out, but Manning and the offense couldn't respond as their drive stalled at the Patriots' 48-yard line. It was the first time Britton Colquitt punted since Dec. 29.
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