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Football season came to a crashing halt yesterday in Denver, as New England's 20-18 loss to the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game leaves the Pats to lick their wounds and wonder how it all went wrong.

Scratch that, we actually have a really good idea of how it all went wrong. 

The game was won (and lost) at the line of scrimmage, as the Broncos defensive front, led by edge rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, wrecked havoc on the New England offensive line and Brady, totaling a massive number of hits that hadn't been seen in the NFL this season. 

The Broncos D got 20 combined hits on Brady on their home turf, the most any QB in the NFL has taken this year. At the end of it all, Brady finished 27-for-56 for 310 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. His 56.4 QB rating was his lowest mark all season. 

The offensive line was unable to keep up with the speed and timing by which the Broncos front was operating with, both on the outside and in the interior, and the crowd noise from the Mile High crowd made it impossible for Brady to adjust at the line and deliver orders  when looking  at the pre-snap coverage. 

"They got a great rush, and you know they got some great rushers," Brady said postgame. "They've got interior pass-rushers. They've got some outside rushers. I think you complement that with good coverage, it was just tough for us to ever get into a rhythm."

Brady holds plenty of blame as well, as his two picks were ill-advised throws, especially the lobbed-toss right into Von Miller's mittens inside their own 20. But, give credit to Miller for hiding in the weeds just long enough for Brady to lose track of him for that crucial split second.

In the aftermath, fans are left to ponder in sorrow how differently things would've been if yesterday's game was played at Gillette Stadium rather than in the Rocky Mountains. The 2-4 end to the season cost New England homefield advantage, as head coach Bill Belichick placed team health above securing the #1 seed.

That decision came back to bite them in the worst way possible.

Photo Credit: 9News.com 

Mark Burke 1/25/2016 01:24:00 PM Edit
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