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Brady vs. Osweiler, vol. 1?

Ladies and and gentlemen, the NFL might have a new budding rivalry on its hands. On a cold, snowy Sunday night in Denver, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots‘ depleted receiving corps took on Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos. The Pats were looking to keep pace with the undefeated Carolina Panthers, and the Broncos were looking to stay on course atop the AFC East despite having lost legendary QB Peyton Manning.

Brock Osweiler looked clutch in his first start.

At first it looked like the Patriots would have an easy night, as they took a 14-0 lead on touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski and underrated tight end Scott Chandler. But the Broncos got the running game going, and things changed from there. No points were scored in the third, and the game remained 14-7 going into the last period of regulation. Then both offenses went to work! Brandon Bolden caught a touchdown to jump it off in the fourth, expanding the lead to 21-7 and seemingly putting the Pats in the driver’s seat. But Osweiler brought his team down the field, and CJ Anderson ran one in with lots of time on the clock. Osweiler continued to show poise, leading his team on yet another clutch drive that ended in a Brandon McManus field goal with six minutes to go.

With 2:49 to go, the injury bug bit the Pats once again. On a midrange incompletion, Gronkowski’s knee was struck at a bad angle by a diving defender. He fell to the ground, writhing in pain, and needed to be held down by staff as the trainers examined him. He left the field and was done for the game, and the look on Brady’s face said it all: the Patriots were in trouble. Still, Osweiler was down four points and had to get the ball back and lead one more drive. And that’s exactly what happened! The Pats were forced to punt, and Osweiler led a last-minute march all the way to the red zone. It almost looked like they might not punch it in, but Demaryius Thomas had his shoulder pads grabbed in the end zone and the Broncos had first and goal. Then, on a play that Osweiler reportedly changed at the line, Andre Caldwell caught a beautifully thrown pass in the back corner of the end zone with 1:15 left! 24-21 Broncos…but alas, too much time for Brady. Depleted resources and all, the Patriots’ clutch QB led a drive into Stephen Gostkowski‘s range, and a 47-yarder sent the game to overtime!

The Patriots got the ball first in OT, but Denver’s D held strong. The Broncos it and moved it close to field goal range. On 3rd and 1, CJ Anderson ran to the left side on what looked like a simple play. Then he caught a block and shot a gap, and 48 yards later the fans in Denver were celebrating a huge win! The race for home field advantage is tight once again, as the Pats fell to 10-1 and the Broncos went to 9-2.

What did you think of the Broncos’ new young quarterback? How will the Patriots bounce back from their latest injury? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

Gronk doin’ Gronk things

Football fans, the day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: the NFL season has begun! It kicked off with the nationally televised Thursday Night Football broadcast, in which defending champions New England Patriots hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. The night kicked off with a big celebration, with CEO Robert Kraft taking the field and the Pats’ faithful sporting an air of defiance after the latest Deflategate developments. At one point they even chanted “where is Roger?” in reference to widely criticized NFL commissioner Roger Goodell!

When the game kicked off, Tom Brady and the Patriots looked in mid-season form. They marched it up and down the field smoothly, and Brady’s timing with slasher Julian Edelman already looked crisp.

And then there was Gronk.

Rob Gronkowski, one of the most indefensible tight ends in history, had himself a day. His first of two touchdowns was classic Gronk, as he caught a ball near the sideline and broke a few tackles before rumbling to the end zone. His second was a simple route toward the back of the end zone, finishing with a perfect drop-in throw by Brady. Gronk’s third score was another red zone special, completing the hat trick and giving Brady his fourth TD pass of the game. When it all was said and done, Gronk had 94 yards on only five receptions, for three touchdowns and three HUGE spikes in the end zone. Edelman finished with 97 yards on eleven catches, and Brady went 25-32 for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Bill Belichick‘s crew handled their opponents from wire to wire, despite some solid looking numbers from the Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger threw for 351 yards, Antonio Brown had nine catches for 133 yards and a score, and DeAngelo Williams silenced his doubters with 127 rushing yards.

Is Gronk the most unstobbable red zone force in the NFL?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Patriots game without controversy. In yet another example of New England opponents facing unexpected hazards, the Steelers’ headsets reportedly malfunctioned for most of the first half. And guess what they were listening to: the Patriots’ radio broadcast. The Pittsburgh coaching staff was, as you would expect, none too pleased. And as teams and players around the league nodded sympathetically, Steelers fans were left to speculate whether this was yet another instance of the Patriots bending the rules. The NFL released a statement to the effect that the matter was under full investigation, and Pats Nation celebrated a 1-0 start.

Where do you stand on the “dirty tricks” allegations against Belichick & crew? Do you think they stand a chance of making another title run? Is Gronk the most unstoppable red zone force in the NFL? As always, Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer