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Stats in the spotlight: Patriots-Broncos

A handful of interesting stats and trends from the Patriots' victory over the Broncos:

* Patriots pressure Tebow late: The Patriots’ defense prevented a Broncos’ fourth-quarter comeback by pressuring Tim Tebow. New England sent extra pressure toward Tebow on 9 of 17 fourth quarter dropbacks (52.9 percent). Entering this game, teams had been blitzing Tim Tebow 11.6 percent less in the fourth quarter than in the first three, the largest disparity against any quarterback in the NFL.

* Hernandez huge for Brady: Aaron Hernandez, not Rob Gronkowski, was the tight end threat the Broncos could not contain Sunday. Hernandez finished with a career high in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (129) and was Tom Brady's best defense against added pass-rush pressure from the Broncos. Hernandez had five receptions on five targets, including a touchdown, for 96 yards when the Broncos sent extra pass rushers.

* Brady beats the Broncos’ blitz: Tom Brady and the Patriots were ready for the Broncos’ blitz on Sunday. Since Week 9, only the Packers had used a pass rush with five or more defenders more often than the Broncos who used added pressure on 51.3 percent of dropbacks during that stretch.

Compiled by Dan Riccio, Jason York and John Parolin