American Football: Broncos punish Patriots blunders

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The New England Patriots' quest for an unprecedented third successive Super Bowl title is over following their 27-13 defeat in Denver on Saturday night. The Patriots were unable to overcome a series of errors against the Broncos, for whom the margin of victory was flattering.

In all, New England committed five turnovers, four of which resulted in scoring drives for the Broncos. The most important, however, came in the third quarter. Trailing 10-6 but threatening to score, the Patriots' quarterback, Tom Brady, was intercepted in the end zone by Denver's Champ Bailey. Bailey returned the ball to New England's one-yard line, from where Mike Anderson scored to give the Broncos breathing room.

In Saturday's other game, the Seattle Seahawks moved to within one win of a first-ever Super Bowl appearance after beating the Washington Redskins 20-10. The win was all the more impressive because the Seahawks lost their star player, running back Shaun Alexander, to concussion in the first quarter.

In his absence, however, receiver Darrell Jackson caught nine passes for 143 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, having thrown the scoring pass to Jackson, added another touchdown.

NFL Play-offs: Seattle 20 Washington 10, Denver 27 New England 13.