Patriots host Broncos at Gillette Stadium (Live Blog)

Alex Barth, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Follow along below as the Patriots host the Broncos with live score updates, highlights, and instant analysis.

Live Updates: Patriots-Broncos

-- Q4, 0:59: Cam Newton and N'Keal Harry fail to connect on fourth and 10. The Broncos take over just needing kneeldowns to win the game.

-- Q4, 1:22: The Patriots are breaking out all the trickery to try and steal this game. How about a double reverse pass back to the quarterback?

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@Edelman11 QB, @CameronNewton WR.????: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/6IxR0tq06K

-- Q4, 3:14: Next play? Drew Lock takes a deep shot and in intercepted by Jonathan Jones. Things just got interesting!

-- Q4, 3:23: After losses on first and second down, Cam Newton once again took things into his own hands. His scramble on 3rd and 17 put the ball back in field goal range, and Nick Folk hit from 38 yards out to make it a six point game.

-- Q4, 5:15: A play after dropping a snap under center (he recovered it himself), Drew Lock misfires a pass right to JC Jackson, who returns the ball all the way to the Broncos' 25 yard line. The Patriots are still very much in this game.

-- Q4, 8:14: The Patriots got their two longest plays of the the day back-to-back. After Cam Newton hit Damiere Byrd for a 19 yard gain up the left sideline, he scrambled to his right to pick up 37. Two plays later, he scored on a quarterback sneak to make it a one score game (after a review, because the officials missed a very easy call). The Patriots went for two but nobody got open on a play action call.

-- Q4, 14:03: On the second play of the fourth quarter, the Broncos finally punt for the first time. Although it did come on the Patriots side of the field. Three plays later, the Patriots punted the ball right back.

END Q3: It felt at the end of the first half like the Patriots might be able to make some adjustments and close the gap in the second half. Instead, they turned the ball over twice in the third quarter. The effects of not practicing for two weeks are showing, and they're showing in a big way.

-- Q3, 0:28: Cam Newton targeted N'Keal Harry for the first time, but Justin Simmons stepped in front of the throw for the Broncos' second pick of the day.

-- Q3, 2:08: Just three plays into the Patriots next drive, Cam Newton hit Ryan Izzo over the middle for what should have been a big gain on 3rd and 3. However, Michael Ojemudia stripped Izzo and Denver recovered the football. Once again, the Broncos were limited to a field goal, their sixth of the day. 18-3 Broncos

-- Q3, 3:32: With the aid of an iffy defensive holding call against Stephon Gilmore, the Broncos got to run six plays inside the 10, but didn't score on any of them. Instead of going for it on fourth down from the two, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio chose to kick this field goal. A touchdown would probably put the game away, and if you miss the Patriots offense has to go 98 yards. 15-3 Broncos

-- Q3, 9:46: Adam Butler returns to the game for the Patriots. Drew Lock hits Tim Patrick deep up the right sideline to convert a 3rd and 21, but Patrick had to be helped off the field by trainers after the play.

-- Q3, 11:16: Drew Lock finally gets one by Jonathan Jones, hitting Jerry Jeudy on a crosser. The Patriots held Jeudy without a catch (two targets) in the first half.

-- Q3, 12:06: The Patriots rule out Jermaine Eluemunor for the rest of the game.

-- Q3, 12:39: Cam Newton got stripped on a third and six, but made a great play to get his head around and jump on the loose football. In case anybody was still worried about him 'buying in.' The Patriots punted the next play.

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Patriots halftime stats:NEWTON: 9/11, 100 yards, INTHARRIS: 5 carries, 15 yards, 1 catch, 14 yardsWHITE: 3 catches, 29 yardsBENTLEY: 8 tacklesSIMON: 2 tackles, sack

HALFTIME: The Patriots head into the half down nine. That deficit feels like it could be better or worse. The defense has played well up against the end zone, but still struggled against the run. The offense has been rusty at best, but still was a bad snap away from a momentum-changing drive in the second quarter.

-- Q2, 0:24: The Broncos were on an 11-play, 61-yard drive, and looking to score going into the half. However, a John Simon 13-yard sack killed that, and Denver had to settle for a field goal going into the half. Still, McManus his from 52-yards away to make it a two-score game. 12-3 Broncos

-- Q2, 6:57: Just when the Patriots were starting to build some momentum, Joe Thuney snaps it over Newton's head. It's his first bad snap in two and a half games playing center. That's honestly not a bad run for a guy new to the position. That sidetracked what was to that point a promising drive, as the Patriots settled for a 41 yard Nick Folk field goal. 9-3 Broncos

 -- Q2, 11:13: The Patriots announce defensive tackle Adam Butler is questionable to return with an elbow injury.

-- Q2, 12:13: The Broncos put together the most complete drive of the game for either team, a 13-play, 83-yard march. But once again, the Patriots defense holds in the red zone, as Drew Lock throws three straight contested passes that end up being incomplete. Brandon McManus comes on to clean things up from 27-yards out. 9-0 Broncos

-- Q2, 12:41: Patriots defensive tackle Adam Butler had to be helped off the field by the training staff.

-- Q2, 14:08: Drew Lock might have had Tim Patrick deep, but he sailed the throw a bit which allowed J.C. Jackson to fade back and break it up. It's been a slow start for the most part, but the Patriots secondary has been outstanding in the first 16 minutes of this one.

-- Q2, 14:52: Jermaine Eluemunor is questionable to return with an ankle injury.

-- END Q1: The Patriots look like a team that's had one true practice in the last 18 days, especially on offense. Of course, the offensive line situation isn't helping either. Still, they find themselves down just a six points through one quarter. A lot of that is on the defensive backs, notably Jonathan Jones, playing well.

-- Q1, 3:45: Jermaine Eluemunor got rolled up on during a sack of Cam Newton, and had to be helped off the field. Hjalte Froholdt replaced him in the lineup. The Patriots entered the game without three starting offensive linemen, and were already playing with a patchwork group up front.

-- Q1, 9:32: On a third and two, the Patriots tried to call a screen, but Denver got into the backfield too fast. Cam Newton was caught flat footed, and didn't get enough juice on his throw. It was tipped up into the air an picked off by DeShawn Williams. However, the Patriots defense didn't allow the Broncos to pick up a first down, and the turnover netted Denver just a field goal. 6-0 Broncos.

-- Q1, 13:02: A deep connection between Drew Lock and Tim Patrick got the Broncos into field goal range. Jonathan Jones broke up two passes in the end zone, holding Denver to a field goal. 3-0 Broncos.

-- Q1, 15:00: Patriots win the toss and defer. Broncos start with the ball.

-- It appears Jarrett Stidham has ascended to the backup quarterback role for the Patriots. Brian Hoyer is one of five inactives for Sunday's game, along with RB J.J. Taylor, TE Dalton Keene, DT Carl Davis, and DB Myles Bryant.

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Patriots inactives. pic.twitter.com/XygKt7ATsO

 

-- Drew Lock will start at quarterback for the Broncos. He has been listed as questionable coming into the game.

-- Updates By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].