Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Among Patriots’ Stars In Rout Of Broncos

Rob Gronkowski, Tom BradyFOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots trounced the team unanimously named the best in the NFL on Sunday.

Does that make the Patriots the best now? Well, that’s up for debate, but it was a commanding 43-21 win over the Denver Broncos.

A whole week’s worth of debate between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning culminated in 68,756 Patriots fans chanting “BRADY’S BETTER” in the fourth quarter. Is he? That’s still up for debate, too, but he was better Sunday.

Check out this week’s Patriots stars of the game:

Gronk had his second consecutive monster game, catching nine passes for 105 yards and one touchdown. His best play, an incredible one-handed catch while being hit by Broncos safety T.J. Ward near the goal line, set up the Patriots’ fifth touchdown.

When the big tight end is healthy, he’s absolutely one of the premier players in the NFL. His combination of size, speed and agility is nearly unstoppable.

Edelman, who had two drops in Weeks 7 and 8, rebounded very nicely, catching nine passes for 89 yards and one touchdown and returning a punt 84 yards for a weaving score. He now owns the Patriots record for punt-return TDs.

Edelman dropped one pass in the end zone, but it can be forgiven.

It’s safe to say Brady outshined his No. 1 rival. He was 33-of-53 passing for 333 yards and four touchdowns with one interception, while Manning completed 34 of 57 passes for 438 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.

Brady’s interception careened off receiver Danny Amendola’s hands and into Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby’s. It was an ill-advised throw, but it was catchable.

The Broncos were threatening in the fourth quarter, down by three scores, when Chung broke up a Manning pass intended for tight end Jacob Tamme in the end zone on fourth down, forcing Denver to turn the ball over on downs.

It was the safety’s second pass deflection of the game, and it made up for a touchdown that he allowed on a perfectly thrown ball from Manning to tight end Julius Thomas. Chung helped shut down Thomas, who was held to two catches for 33 yards.

Chung, who finished with three pass deflections on the game, has been a pleasant surprise in his return to New England.

The Patriots cornerback was flagged three times — once each for pass interference, encroachment and holding — but he also intercepted a Manning pass that popped off Broncos slot receiver Wes Welker’s hands.

Browner had added a physical presence to the Patriots’ secondary over the last two weeks.

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