After losing their past three playoff games, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady came back with a vengeance tonight. The New England Patriots completely dismantled Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos 45-10 at Gillette Stadium. The only time this game was even close was at the beginning of the second quarter, when the Broncos cut the lead to 14-7 on a Willis McGahee five-yard run following a Brady interception.
That would be Brady’s lone mistake of the night though. He was better than ever in this one, going 26 of 34 for 363 yards with a NFL postseason record-tying six touchdowns–including a NFL postseason record five in the first half. Three of his touchdowns went to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was once again an absolute monster tonight. Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker each had a touchdown as well.
Tim Tebow on the other hand, had a very rough night. He went 9 of 26 for 136 yards while adding only 13 yards rushing on five carries. He also lost a fumble and was sacked five times. The Patriots defense–which looked nothing like their 31st overall ranking–consistently pressured and hit Tebow, while containing the option plays in the Broncos offense. But it wasn’t all Tebow; the Broncos were outmatched from the start and the game was basically over at halftime when the Patriots led 35-7. The Broncos had no answer for Brady and the Patriots offense, and the offensive line protected Brady very well all night, never allowing him to be sacked.
Next week, the Patriots will host the winner of the Texans-Ravens game for the right to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI.