The Patriots won the coin toss and opted to receive the opening kick off, instead of their traditional deferral to the second half. New England hoped to get an early lead on Peyton Manning and company, but the Broncos defense held and forced a punt.
Denver responded with a touchdown drive, heavily influenced by a weak pass interference call on third down. The Patriots saw the Broncos defend Rob Gronkowski in the same fashion on the subsequent drive, but did not receive any flags from the officials.
Luckily for New England, the Broncos tried a quick pass to running back Ronnie Hillman, who didn't catch the ball. The pass was technically a lateral, which the Patriots recovered with short field position. New England converted the possession into a touchdown, but Stephen Gostkowski missed his first extra point attempt since his rookie season.
The Broncos are currently driving, thanks to a ridiculous grab by Emmanuel Sanders over Malcolm Butler.