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Live coverage: Tebow turnover sets up 14-0 New England lead

January 14, 2012 |  5:39 pm

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Denver's first drive crossed midfield as the left-handed Tim Tebow dropped back and looked to pass. New England outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich hit him from behind, causing the fumble that linebacker Brandon Spikes recovered.

With that and a 7-0 lead in hand, quarterback Tom Brady distributed passes to tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski to move the top-seeded hosts to Denver's 17-yard line.

Brady then found Gronkowski again, this time in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown. The catch was reviewed after Gronkowski at first bobbled the ball, but replays affirmed the catch and New England leads 14-0 with 6:42 left in the first quarter.

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Offenses might be the new difference-maker in NFL playoffs

--Lance Pugmire

Photo: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski makes a 10-yard touchdown catch while being defended by Broncos cornerback Andre' Goodman in the first half Saturday night. Credit: Charles Krupa / Associated Press

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