Perfect Endings

There was this gnawing feeling, when the ball bounced off Denver’s Tony Carter and set up New England’s game-winning overtime field goal, that this was a lousy way for such a great game to end. The Patriots and Broncos played an epic game Sunday night. The Patriots looked bewildered at first and trailed 24-0 at the half. The Broncos seemed helpless in the cold and watched Tom Brady and New England scored 31 straight points. Peyton Manning then led Denver on a halting, gutsy, penalty-ridden 80-yard touchdown drive to tie the game. Then neither team could drive the ball into winning position for a while. The game was raw and sloppy and thrilling and splendid, and it did not seem right to have it decided by a bad bounce and a undrafted NFL journeyman who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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