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.