Broncos end Patriots run

CJ Anderson scored an overtime touchdown to lead the Denver Broncos past the New England Patriots 30-23 and leave the Carolina Panthers as the league's only unbeaten team.

The Patriots led 14-0 and 21-7 but gave up their advantage in a thrilling final quarter and had to rely on Stephen Gostkowski's last gasp field goal to set up overtime.

But, with their offense lacking injured tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots were unable to move the ball and fell to 10-1 when Anderson scampered through their defense for a 48-yard score.

Gronkowski scored the game's first touchdown when he hauled in a 23-yard pass from Tom Brady, who went on to extend their advantage with a nine-yard pass to Scott Chandler.

Ronnie Hillman replied with a 19-yard rushing touchdown for Denver, but they still trailed 14-7 going into what turned out to be an enthralling final quarter.

Brady opened it by hitting Brandon Bolden for a 63-yard touchdown but just over two minutes later, the Broncos were back within a touchdown on a 15-yard Anderson score.

Brandon McManus cut the deficit to four points with a 21-yard field goal and the Patriots suffered a huge blow with three minutes remaining when Gronkowski was carted off with a knee injury, although early reports suggest it might not be as bad as first feared.

Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, making only his second NFL start in place of injured Peyton Manning, struggled with his accuracy for much of the game, but he did put the Broncos 24-21 in front with 75 seconds remaining when he connected with Andre Caldwell on a four-yard touchdown pass.

However the Patriots still had time to drive down field and set up Gostkowski for a 47-yard field goal to level the scores with four seconds left on the clock.

Brady was sacked by Von Miller on the second play of overtime, leading the Patriots to punt the ball away, and on third-and-1, Anderson broke free down the left of the Patriots defense to run 48 yards for the winning score.

"It didn't look good at times, but we figured out a way to get the job done," said Broncos coach Gary Kubiak after his side improved to 9-2.

 

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