Get updated with the latest news surrounding the New England Patriots after their Christmas Eve win over the Denver Broncos in Week 16.
Bill Belichick credits team's mental toughness for Sunday Night win
Coming into the game with the Broncos on Sunday Night, the odds were stacked against the Patriots, and not a single person believed they had a chance of leaving Denver with a win. It wasn't because the Broncos are that good of a team, but because the New England offense has been so disappointing this season, it was difficult to imagine they'd be able to do enough to win another game.
On top of an underperforming offense, the team also has a problematic special team, which seemed to struggle even more with Matthew Slater sidelined for the game. Chad Ryland missed a field goal and an extra point, and ill-timed penalties remained a problem.
But that defense? Even though they were down another dominant force in Jabrill Peppers, they totaled five sacks on Russell Wilson for a loss of 45 yards, brought him to the ground nine times, and limited their run game to 23 carries for 83 yards.
The good thing is the team is clearly still playing for each other and turned things around in the second half. Special teams recovered two fumbles, one of which Cody Davis returned for a touchdown, Bailey Zappe led the offense on two touchdown drives in the third quarter, widening their lead, and the defense forced a punt to give the Patriots the ball back with just 58 seconds remaining, allowing the offense to add another field goal to the scoreboard and strip all hope away from Denver to leave with a win.
When speaking to the team after the exciting finish, Bill Belichick credited the team's mental toughness for getting the job done, especially since it seemed obvious that the Broncos and the media had overlooked them.
It may be a cliché catchphrase at this point, but in a game that progressed the way this game did, all the cards were stacked against them, and it didn't look like they could overcome their mistakes. But they did and got an impressive win on the road.