Pats wrap up division crown
DENVER — Tom Brady overcame a slow start to lead the Patriots to a rare win in Denver that dealt a crushing blow to the Broncos' playoff hopes.
Brady missed his first six passes for just the second time his career — the first was on Oct. 12, 2003, against the Giants — but he came back to lead the Patriots to a record eighth straight division title and a first-round bye.
Brady returned to the site of his worst beating, a 20-18 loss in the AFC Championship Game 11 months ago, when he was hit a career-high 23 times. This time he brought a power run game and a much-improved offensive line. The result was his third win in Denver in 10 tries.
The Broncos lost their third in four games and were supplanted by the Dolphins for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC race.