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Broncos stun Pats, knock out Gronkowski

Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler upends Broncos receiver Cody Latimer during the first half of Sunday night’s matchup. Denver won on C.J. Anderson’s 48-yard run in overtime, ending New England’s undefeated run.

Associated Press

Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler upends Broncos receiver Cody Latimer during the first half of Sunday night’s matchup. Denver won on C.J. Anderson’s 48-yard run in overtime, ending New England’s undefeated run.

DENVER — Tom Brady lost yet another one of his trusted targets.

And this time he also lost a game.

C.J. Anderson scored on a 48-yard run with 12:32 left in overtime, powering the Broncos past the Patriots 30-24 on a snowy Sunday night.

"To be honest I don't know what happened," Anderson said. "The hole opened up and I just took off and ran it through."

Watching from the cozy indoors at field level was Peyton Manning as Brock Osweiler and the Broncos overcame an early 14-0 deficit and handed the Patriots their first loss since 2014.

Now, Carolina (11-0), which bested Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, is the NFL's only unbeaten team.

Osweiler threw a 3-yard touchdown to former Jefferson High and Florida standout Andre "Bubba" Caldwell with 1:09 left in regulation to put the Broncos up 24-21.

But Brady, playing without injured star tight end Rob Gronkowski, needed just five plays to drive the Patriots 51 yards and into range for Stephen Gostowski's 47-yard field goal that tied it on the final play of regulation.

New England won the coin toss and elected to receive, but thanks to a sack by linebacker Von Miller, Denver forced a three and out and, on a third-and-1 play from the New England 48, Anderson raced around the left sideline and into the north end zone.

"I'm not 2-0 (as a starter), this team is 2-0 and that's the important thing," Osweiler said.

Gronkowski injured his right knee with 2:49 left in regulation and was carted off. There was no immediate word on his status.

Gronkowski laid out to try to make a catch while Denver defensive back Darian Stewart dove to try to break up the play. Stewart hit Gronkowski's knee and the tight end lay on the field, writhing in pain.

The Patriots were already without injured wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.

The Broncos played the second half without safety T.J. Ward, nose tackle Sylvester Williams and guard Louis Vasquez.

Ward and Williams each went to the locker room in the first half with ankle injuries and Vasquez hurt his groin. All were ruled out at the start of the third quarter.

The Patriots were seeking to match their 2007 squad, the only team to go through a regular season undefeated since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

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Broncos stun Pats, knock out Gronkowski 11/29/15 [Last modified: Monday, November 30, 2015 12:27am]
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