After taking a 17-7 lead into the half, the New England Patriots were looking to build more momentum when the third quarter began. Unfortunately, a three-and-out, sparked by an ill-advised sack on third-down would give the ball over to the Broncos less than a minute and a half into the third quarter.
The Patriots would then stop the Broncos just shy of the fifty-yard-line, forcing a Britton Colquitt punt that would go through the back of the endzone for a touchback.
On their ensuing possession, the Patriots would pick up an incredible first-down conversion on 3rd & 17 with an off-tackle run to Danny Woodhead. This would lead to another successful drive for the New England offense, capped off by a Tom Brady quarterback sneak into the endzone for a touchdown and a 24-7 lead.
Not long after getting the ball back, Peyton Manning would be stripped by linebacker/defensive end hybrid Rob Ninkovich with the ball being recovered by big Vince Wilfork, setting the Patriots offense up deep inside Denver territory. A few plays later, running back Stevan Ridley would punch it in for a touchdown, securing the Patriots a commanding 31-7 lead.
Peyton would have his say before the quarter came to a close, leading his team down the field in short order, ending with a touchdown pass to Eric Decker. The drive spanned 90 yards in just three minutes.