Sun, 25 Oct 2020

Ranking the Broncos' best wins against Tom Brady

Denver Broncos
26 Sep 2020, 10:38 GMT+10

Aric DiLalla

In Tom Brady's 21-year career, there isn't much he hasn't done.

Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion, a three-time Most Valuable Player, a member of two All-Decade teams and one of 10 quarterbacks selected to the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

The longtime Patriots quarterback, though, isn't perfect. Brady has a losing record against one of the league's 32 franchises. That team, of course, is the Denver Broncos.

The Buccaneers' new signal caller is 7-6 against Denver in the regular season, but a 1-3 postseason record drops his overall tally to 8-9.

He'll aim to even that mark this weekend when the Bucs come to Empower Field at Mile High, but in the meantime, we're taking a look back at the Broncos' best performances against arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.

5. Week 12, 2015: Broncos 30, Patriots 24

In the Broncos' last regular-season win over Brady and the Patriots, Brady threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions, but he completed just 54.8 percent of his passes and was sacked three times by an elite Denver defense. Only one of Brady's touchdowns and two of the sacks came in the second half as the Broncos overcame a 21-7 fourth-quarter deficit in the snow. Brock Osweiler led three scoring drives in their final four drives, while Brady and the Patriots managed just a field goal as time expired. In overtime, C.J. Anderson scampered for a 48-yard game-ending score that gave Denver a critical win in their hunt for the first-overall seed.

4. Week 7, 2001: Broncos 31, Patriots 20

In Brady's first career start against the Broncos, the Denver defense was dominant against the second-year player. The Patriots would go on to win their first Super Bowl title that year, but on that afternoon in Denver, it was all about the Broncos. After the Patriots opened up a 10-0 lead, the Broncos finished the game on a 31-10 run to earn a resounding win. The game truly swung in the fourth quarter, when Brady threw interceptions on all four of the Pariots' fourth-quarter drives. Denver sealed the game with the third of Brady's four interceptions, as Denver's Denard Walker returned the pass 39 yards for a touchdown. Brady finished the game 25-of-38 for 203 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions and a 57.1 quarterback rating. His four interceptions remain tied for the most he's thrown in a single game in his career.

3. 2013 AFC Championship: Broncos 26, Patriots 16

In Peyton Manning's second season in Denver, he and the Broncos got the best of Brady and the Patriots. In the 2013 AFC Championship Game, Denver jumped out to a 23-3 lead and withstood a late rally to advance to Super Bowl 48. The win gave the Broncos their first Super Bowl appearance since they earned back-to-back world championships in the late '90s. Brady posted a respectable 93.9 quarterback rating in this game, but he and New England posted a pair of three-and-outs to start the game and he led the Patriots to just three points through the first three quarters. Brady finished 24-of-38 for 277 yards and two total touchdowns and was sacked twice. The Broncos raised the Lamar Hunt Trophy after the game as Manning got the best of Brady with a 400-yard, two-touchdown performance.

2. 2005 AFC Divisional Round: Broncos 27, Patriots 13

We're slotting this Divisional Round win ahead of the 2013 AFC Championship because Jake Plummer and the Broncos were able to knock off the defending Super Bowl champions and earn the franchise's first postseason win since the 1998 season. The Broncos were slightly favored, but they didn't have an easy task in front of them. Entering that game, Brady held a 10-0 postseason record. It wouldn't last. The game swung, of course, in the third quarter, with the Patriots trailing 10-6 and facing a third-and-goal from Denver's 5-yard line. Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey jumped in front of a pass intended for Troy Brown and returned the ball 100 yards to the New England 1-yard line. Only a herculean effort from Ben Watson prevented Bailey from scoring, and the Broncos punched the ball into the end zone on the next play to take a 17-6 lead. Plummer tossed a fourth-quarter touchdown to Rod Smith to extend the lead in the fourth quarter, and Denver was never truly challenged again in the 27-13 win. Brady finished 20-of-36 for 341 yards, but he tossed just one touchdown to two interceptions.

1. 2015 AFC Championship: Broncos 20, Patriots 18

In the last ever matchup between Manning and Brady, the Broncos held on late to earn a trip to Super Bowl 50. The Broncos never trailed in that 20-18 AFC Championship Game win, but they couldn't relax until New England's last-gasp onside kick attempt was recovered. After Denver took a 20-12 lead with 10:06 to play in the game, Brady and the Patriots had three drives with a chance to tie the game, but Denver's defense held strong each time. On the first, Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib came up to make a play against Julian Edelman on fourth-and-1 at the Denver 16-yard line. On New England's next drive, Brady's fourth-and-6 pass to Rob Gronkowski from the Denver 14-yard line was broken up. The Patriots did score on their final possession, but Aqib Talib deflected the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, and Bradley Roby picked it off to seal the win. The Broncos were dominant all day against Brady, as they held the Pats to just 2-of-15 on third downs and hit Brady 17 times. They sacked him on four of those occasions, and Von Miller posted a dominant performance with 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and an interception. This win over New England was even sweeter than the first AFC Championship win, as Denver would close the deal two weeks later against Carolina.

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