A miracle saved the New England Patriots on Sunday.
They needed everything to go right after the Browns took a 26-14 lead with 2:39 left in the fourth. And everything went right, allowing them to rally for a 27-26 win, one of the most improbable late comeback wins of the entire NFL season.
The Patriots went on a long touchdown drive, without injured tight end Rob Gronkowski. That made the score 26-21, but the Patriots still had no timeouts left and needed to recover an onside kick.
New England hadn't recovered an onside kick since 1995, against the Cleveland Browns before they moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, and were coached by a young Bill Belichick. And the Patriots got that onside kick.
New England still needed to go a long way in a short time, but the officials helped. A brutal pass interference call on Browns cornerback Leon McFadden gave the Patriots the ball at the 1-yard line. It was a questionable call on a deep pass into the end zone to rookie Josh Boyce, and official knew that throwing the flag practically gave the Patriots the win, and he threw it anyway. New England then scored on a 1-yard pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola.
And still, New England needed some good fortune. The Browns, who were able to throw the ball at will all day, moved in position to try a 58-yard field goal to win the game. Billy Cundiff's kick was straight, but short. The Patriots held on for the victory.
The win was enormous for the Patriots, especially considering Gronkowski might miss some time if his leg injury is nearly as bad as it looked. Had New England lost, it would have been 9-4 and tied with the Bengals for the No. 2 seed in the AFC, and Cincinnati owns the tiebreaker between the two.
But the Patriots won, in absolutely unbelievable fashion.
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