FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – So much for the New England Patriots’ recent inability to win big games.
Tom Brady tied a playoff record with six touchdown passes — three to TE Rob Gronkowski to match another postseason mark — as the top-seeded Pats buried the Denver Broncos 45-10 Saturday night to advance to the AFC Championship Game for the sixth time in the Brady-Bill Belichick era. The win broke a three-game playoff skid for the Patriots, dating to the Super Bowl XLII loss that marred their previously perfect 2007 season.
After seemingly captivating the nation with his magical performance in last week’s wild-card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Broncos QB Tim Tebow wasn’t a factor on this night, completing just nine of 26 passes for 136 yards but none of the downfield throws that marked his heroics in that unforgettable overtime thriller.