FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The matchup of great quarterbacks turned into a game of turnovers.
And the New England Patriots won both.
Tom Brady outplayed Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos made the biggest mistake and the Patriots won 34-31 on Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal with 1:56 left in overtime Sunday night.
New England lost fumbles on each of its first three possessions and trailed 24-0 at halftime.
"If someone walks up to you and hits you in the face," Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich said, "I mean, what type person are you? Do you just turn and walk away or are you going to fight back?"
They fought back.
Brady threw three touchdown passes as New England scored on its first five possessions of the second half and took a 31-24 lead. Then the Broncos tied it when Manning threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Demaryius Thomas with 3:06 left in the fourth quarter.
Both teams punted on each of their first two possessions of overtime. But the last one, a high punt by New England's Ryan Allen, landed and bounced off the leg of Denver backup cornerback Tony Carter. Nate Ebner recovered for the Patriots at the Broncos 13 and, three plays later, Gostkowski won the game with his 21st consecutive successful field goal attempt.
"What a crazy game," he said, "and what a fun finish."
Here are five things we learned from the Patriots comeback win over the NFL's best offensive team:
BRADY STILL ON TOP: In 14 meetings between two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Brady is 10-4 after beating Manning for the third straight time.
Brady had one of his best games this season, completing 34 of 50 passes for 344 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Manning had one of his worst, connecting on 19 of 36 passes for 150 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.