DENVER -- Not this time, Tim Tebow. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots shut down Tebow's late - game heroics and clinched a playoff berth with a 41 - 23 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The Patriots, 11 - 3, won their sixth straight game and another AFC East title by bouncing back from an early 17 - 6 deficit and an awful first quarter in which they were outgained on the ground 167 yards to 4.
This time, there was no last - minute magic from Tebow, who had guided the Broncos, 8 - 6, to four straight fourth - quarter comebacks and six straight wins. Instead of another slow start followed by a fantastic finish, the Broncos started out fast and then fizzled. They scored on their first three possessions and then were done in by a trio of second - quarter turnovers.
Brady, who was 23 of 34 for 320 yards with two touchdown passes and a touchdown run, made up for another bad day by the Patriots' defense to beat the Broncos for the second time in eight career starts, the only team with a winning record against the three-time Super Bowl champion.
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