Tim Tebow and the Broncos had won games every which way.
That is until they met up Sunday with the buzz saw otherwise known as the New England Patriots.
Tom Brady simply stood back and watched as the Broncos scored on their first three possessions, then led the Patriots to 27 straight points en route to a 41-23 victory to help New England clinch the AFC East for the ninth time in 11 years.
The beating was complete from top to bottom, as the Broncos had plenty of chances to take control of the game early as they ran over the Pats, but once they lost the lead, it seemed the early emotion of running well went with it.
Brady threw for 320 yards with two touchdowns and ran in another score in the sixth straight win for New England (11-3), which trailed 16-7 early in the second quarter before taking control.
Aaron Hernandez had game-highs of nine receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown, and the Patriots’ defense overcame a slow start and an injury to Andre Carter to silence the streaking Broncos.
Tebow had two rushing TDs and threw for 194 yards on 11-of-22 passing. There was no fourth-quarter magic that has become commonplace over the past two months in Denver (8-6), which still leads the AFC West by one game thanks to the Raiders losing to the Lions on Sunday.
They ran for 167 yards in the first quarter, with Tebow plowing in for a nine- yard touchdown and Lance Ball rumbling for a 32-yard TD.
The Pats though would not stop putting the offensive pressure on the Broncos, and by halftime they were up 27-16, and the game was as good as over.
New England punted in enemy territory on the first possession of the second half, but an eight-play, 85-yard drive later in the third essentially sealed the outcome, as Danny Woodhead’s 10-yard run to paydirt in the final minute made it 34-16.
Not even Elvis Dumervil’s vicious sack of Brady early in the fourth, nor Tebow’s two-yard touchdown run a little later sparked a comeback.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis accounted for the final score with a one-yard plunge.
The Broncos have to regroup quickly, and Sunday they will be at Buffalo.
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