McManus' 6 FGs lift Broncos over Pats in COVID-delayed game

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Denver Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles, left, congratulates kicker Brandon McManus in the second half of an NFL football game after his sixth field goal against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Denver Broncos waited two weeks to finally play again and they were rewarded with their biggest win of the season.

Brandon McManus had six field goals and linebacker Malik Reed came up with a big sack late to help the Broncos hold on for an 18-12 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday in a game twice delayed following positive coronavirus tests for both teams.

"This was definitely a special moment," McManus said.

Sunday’s game was originally scheduled for last week but got postponed twice. The delay was caused after multiple Patriots players tested positive for COVID-19, including quarterback Cam Newton and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.

New England (2-3) rallied from an 18-3 deficit and nearly pulled off the comeback, but committed three turnovers. This is the first time the Patriots have had a first losing record after five games since the 2001 season.

Drew Lock finished 10 of 24 for 189 yards in his first start since injuring his shoulder in Denver’s Week 2 loss to Pittsburgh. He was steady early, but had back-to-back interceptions in the fourth quarter to let the Patriots back into the game.

“We knew that we could be a really good team,” Lock said. “It’s hard to come up to Gillette and win, better yet win without scoring a touchdown.”

Denver’s defense entered the game with two takeaways on the season. It forced three on Sunday, coming up with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.