Patriots at Broncos - First Quarter Highlights

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December 18, 2011 at 05:00pm ET

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Some highlights from the first quarter:

So far Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos are off to a big start. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

New England put the ball in Tim Tebow's hands to start the first quarter, with the Patriots deferring after winning the coin toss and Denver got off t

o a quick start.  New England forced a third down, but Tebow made his first play of the game, scrambling for 7 yards and converting on a 3rd and four play.

On the ensuing play Willis McGahee picked up 19 yards before being taken down by Matthew Slater.  Two plays later Tebow completed his first attempt of the game, connecting with Lance Ball for a 7 yard pass.  On the next play Jeremiah picked up 25 on a big run, which took them down to the Patriots 13 yard line.

Two plays later Tebow got in the endzone, with Rob Ninkovich initially breaking through and wrapping him up high, but Tebow overpowered him and took off 9 yards for a touchdown to put the Broncos up 6-0 after Denver missed the extra point.

But New England answered, with the Patriots putting together their first opening quarter touchdown drive since week 4.  It started when Aaron Hernandez broke off a 46 yard gain which got them to the Denver 33, and ended two plays later with Chad Ochocinco scoring on a 33-yard pass to take a 7-6 lead.

However, the Broncos came right back.  Willis McGahee gained 29 yards on their first play from scrimmage, and Tebow then found Demaryius Thomas for a 22 yard gain that took the Broncos into New England territory at the Patriots 32.  One play later Ball broke off a 32 yard touchdown run, to give Denver back the lead 13-7.

The Patriots couldn't get anything going on their next drive, with the Patriots being forced to punt.  From there Denver got things moving once again.  Tebow connected with Eric Decker for a 22 yard pickup, followed by another rush of 19.  The quarter closed with Andre Carter being carted off the field after a 2-yard run by Ball, which should make things challenging as the game continues.  He was replaced by Brandon Deaderick.

Game Notes:

- The Patriots run defense is having a tough start.  Denver gained 146 rushing yards in the opening quarter.

- BenJarvus Green-Ellis so far with 2 carries for 0 yards.  The last time he had two rushes for no gain in the first quarter was back in week 3 against the Bills (he finished the quarter w/5 carries for 10 yards.  The last time he had a quarter where he registered a carry and finished with 0 or less yards was back in Week 8 (1/-1 yards).