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Week 12 Patriots vs Broncos Best and Worst Plays: Chris Harper Gives the Game Away

The Patriots were going to win the game, except they fumbled a punt and gave it away.

Best Plays

5. Tom Brady completes a 9-yard touchdown pass to Scott Chandler on 3rd and 4 (+2.78 EPA). The Patriots were able to convert fantastic field position into seven points as Chandler continues to be a successful target in the red zone. He needs to be put in a better position to succeed in between the 20s.

4. Broncos kicker Brandon McManus misses a 47-yard field goal (+2.88 EPA). The Patriots were holding on to a one score lead and the snow played a big factor in how Denver dictated their kicking game, opting to punt early in the game even though they were in field goal range on a clear day.

3. Tom Brady completes a 23-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski (+2.96 EPA). This opened up the scoring as the Patriots had no issue walking down the field and scoring early.

2. Chandler Jones intercepts a batted pass at the Broncos 15-yard line on 3rd and 4 (+3.86 EPA). The Broncos were probably going to have to punt, but Jones ensured the team had far better field position, and set up the 5th best play on the day. Jones is having one heckuva season.

1. Tom Brady completes a 63-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Bolden on 3rd and 8 (+6.70 EPA). Brady was in the middle of a teeth-grinding session of weird throws to Scott Chandler down the right sideline, but then he uncorked a beautiful wheel route pass to Bolden, who did the bulk of the work on the first play of the fourth quarter. This should've been the nail in the coffin.

Worst Plays

5. Ronnie Hillman runs 19 yards for a touchdown (-2.58 EPA). The Broncos scored right before the half, taking advantage of the Dont'a Hightower-less run defense.

4. Brock Osweiler completes an 11-yard pass to C.J. Anderson, but Tavon Wilson is penalized 15 yards for a face mask on 3rd and 8 (-2.82 EPA). This was a killer, but correct, call against the Patriots that pushed the Broncos from a tough situation to a first down situation on the Patriots side of the field in the 3rd down.

3. Brock Osweiler completes a 39-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders (-3.46 EPA). This set up the Broncos touchdown to take the lead late in the game, prior to Brady's overtime-forcing drive. Osweiler threw an absolutely gorgeous throw to Sanders over Malcolm Butler.

2. C.J. Anderson runs 48 yards for a touchdown on 3rd and 1 in overtime (-4.25 EPA). This ended the game and the Patriots certainly could have a gripe for the missed holding call that pulled Devin McCourty out of the hole.


This would have pushed the Broncos into a 3rd and 11 situation and the game could have continued.

1. Chris Harper muffs a punt and the Broncos recover on the Patriots 36 yard line (-5.21 EPA). The Broncos had a 0.6% chance of winning prior to the punt. That's how devastating this punt was from a game script reason. If Harper didn't muff the punt, the Patriots could have drained some of the clock.