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NFL Playoffs Patriots vs Broncos Best and Worst Plays: Too Little, Too Late

Best Plays

5. Jamie Collins sacks Peyton Manning for -13 yards on 2nd and 10 (+2.67 EPA). The defense certainly came to play and did everything possible to keep the offense in the game.

4. Tom Brady completes a 20 yard pass to Brandon Bolden, with a bonus yard from a T.J. Ward unnecessary roughness penalty (+2.86 EPA). This was the Patriots best offensive play until their final drive, and they were only in position because of their 2nd best play of the day.

3. Tom Brady completes a 4 yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski on 4th and 4 with 0:17 left in the game (+3.97 EPA). This was one of the best plays of the season.

2. Peyton Manning throws a backwards pass, recovered by Jonathan Freeny on the Broncos 22 yard line (+4.51 EPA). Unforced error by Denver, really. But this turnover immediately preceded the Bolden reception.

1. Tom Brady completes a 40 yard pass to Rob Gronkowski on 4th and 10 with 1:34 left in the game (+4.97 EPA). This has to be one of the greatest passes in this year's postseason, rivaling Aaron Rodgers' passes for survival late against the Cardinals.

It's telling that the Patriots offense couldn't generate a top play until their final drive.

Worst Plays

5. Stephen Gostkowski fails to convert an onside kick at the end of the game (-3.05 EPA). This was the nail in the coffin.

4. Peyton Manning completes a 34 yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders on 3rd and 4 (-3.08 EPA). This was the best pass to a wide receiver all day and the ball just went through the hands of Malcolm Butler. It was a game of inches.

3. Peyton Manning completes a 12 yard touchdown to Owen Daniels on 3rd and 6 (-3.27 EPA). Jamie Collins done goofed. It's really curious why the Patriots weren't matching Patrick Chung on Daniels- the Broncos 3rd leading receiver- in the red zone.

2. Peyton Manning completes a 21 yard touchdown to Owen Daniels on 2nd and 11 (-3.44 EPA). Jamie Collins done goofed again. Where was Chung?!

1. Von Miller intercepts Tom Brady on the Patriots 20 yard line and returns it to the 16 (-3.74 EPA). This was a terrible pass by Brady that should really be held under the spotlight.