It was the Patriots vs. the Broncos on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. It was, at the time, the coldest game at kickoff in Gillette Stadium regular season history (5 degrees at kickoff). I was there with my cousin and, as much as we were excited for the game, we were miserable with how cold it was. The winter chill had settled in that evening for a late autumn game in Foxborough. What made matters worse was that the Patriots had played arguably their worst half of the season to date, falling behind to Peyton Manning and the rival Broncos, 24-0, at the half. The Patriots looked just as miserable as the fans in the cold weather.
As my cousin and I stared at each other during the half, we contemplated hard on what we wanted to do for the second half – head home or watch it through for this Sunday night affair. We decided to try and warm up by walking around the concourse and make our decision then. As we neared completion of our trip on the concourse and returned to our seats, we decided that we would at least wait and see what the Patriots did with the opening kickoff of the second half before deciding upon staying or leaving.
Right before we returned to our seats behind one of the end zones, we had warmed up with some hot chocolate and also followed the Patriots from the concourse as they received the kickoff and proceeded to march down and score a touchdown. My cousin and I got back to our seats and decided to stay for another Patriots drive before fully committing to staying or going. Well, as the Patriots defense held Denver to nothing on their first drive of the second half, the offense went right back to work. Down the field it marched for a second straight touchdown. That sealed it – my cousin and I were in for the long haul.
Another Patriots defensive stand later and then – boom – a third straight offensive drive for a touchdown. It was 27-21, Denver, but we knew we were in for possibly the greatest comeback in team history. As the teams traded scores, the game eventually went deep into overtime. My cousin and I thought to ourselves that win, lose or draw, this game was definitely one to remember. As Wes Welker dropped back to receive the ensuing punt late in the OT, the stadium gasped and then rejoiced in unison as the ball bounced to the ground and off a Broncos player, giving the Patriots special teams an opportunity to pounce on and recover the ball, which they did. And as Stephen Gostkowski kicked the game-winning field goal in OT, my cousin and I definitely couldn’t help but smile at each other that not only was this definitely one of the greatest games that we had seen in person or one of the greatest games in Patriots history, but we were also glad that we had decided to stay for the Patriots to come back in historic fashion!
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