Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pats manufacture wild comeback 'one play at a time'


The New England Patriots have a thing for comeback wins.

They've manage a few improbable come-from-behind victories prior to Week 14 -- most notably a 24-point eraser against the Denver Broncos two weeks ago -- but Sunday's finish may be the leader in the clubhouse.

The Patriots scored two touchdowns and recovered an onside kick in a 30-second span in the final minute to oust the Cleveland Browns, 27-26, in what was an otherwise sloppy game from the No. 1 seed contenders.

After falling behind by 13 points with two and a half minutes to go, the Patriots swiftly moved down the field and capped off a 95-yard drive with a Julian Edelman touchdown reception from Tom Brady.

The Patriots recovered the ensuing onside kick, were the beneficiaries of a shoddy pass interference call and took the lead when Brady hit Danny Amendola on a 1-yard touchdown pass.

"We’re just playing it one play at a time," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the game, via "That’s all you can do. [If] you’re down by two scores, all you can do is score once and then get the ball back and then score again."

Belichick was trying to explain just how the Patriots were able to compile the dramatic finish, but he was more or less at a loss for words.

"You can’t score 14 points in one play," Belichick said. "It’s just sequence and series of plays. I don’t know how else to put it, find somebody more eloquent to do that."

Fair enough.

The Patriots' miracle finish will overshadow another stellar showing from Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who hauled in seven receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown to go along with his 34-yard carry.

Shane Vereen, however, will get his due attention in this neighborhood, as the veteran Patriots tailback set a team record for receptions and receiving yards by a running back with 12 and 153, respectively.

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily