First-and-10 from the New England 38 (11:20, 1st quarter): Jeremiah Johnson took his first carry of the day for a gain of 25 yards into the Patriots’ red zone. Denver capitalized two plays later when Tim Tebow powered the ball into the end zone from 9-yards out to give Denver a 6-0 lead on its first possession of the game.
Third-and-9 from the New England 21 (9:04, 1st quarter): Tom Brady stayed patient on third down and found his tight end Aaron Hernandez open over the middle. The play resulted in a 46-yard gain and sustained the Patriots’ first drive of the game, which culminated in a Brady-to-Chad Ochocinco 33-yard touchdown pass two plays later.
First-and-10 from the Denver 23 (8:37, 2nd quarter): Ron Brace stripped Lance Ball after a 2-yard gain and Rob Ninkovich recovered the loose ball at the Broncos 19-yard line. New England turned the turnover into a 21-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to reclaim the lead at 17-16.
First-and-10 from the Denver 46 (5:18, 2nd quarter): Mark Anderson broke into the Broncos backfield and strip-sacked Tebow, also managing to recover the fumble. New England converted that turnover into a Brady 1-yard rushing touchdown, extending their lead to 24-16.
3rd-and-7 from the Denver 45 (10:19, 3rd quarter): With the Patriots driving into Denver territory, Quinton Carter came on a safety blitz and sacked Brady for a four-yard loss, leading to a Patriots punt.
3rd-and-8 from the 50 (5:16, 3rd quarter): After Denver had strung together three first downs, Tebow was sacked on third down by Mark Anderson for a 10-yard loss. The Broncos were forced to punt, and the Patriots took advantage with a scoring drive that culminated in a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Danny Woodhead to push New England’s advantage to 34-16.