3 plays that doomed Broncos and their playoff hopes on Christmas Eve

  • Bad start leads to bad finish
  • Major gaffe on kickoff return
  • DeVante Parker beats Pat Surtain II

Dec 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Marvin Mims made a big gaffe in the game.
Dec 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Marvin Mims made a big gaffe in the game. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos
Oct 8, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Detailed view of the Snow Capped helmet worn by wide receiver / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Marvin Mims fumbles kickoff return

This was easily the biggest play in this game and if you had to narrow it down to one play that cost the Broncos this football game, it would have been this one. Have a look for yourself:

Right after the Patriots scored a touchdown to go up 16-7, Mims fumbled the ensuing kickoff, picked it up and then had it poked out again. The Patriots recovered the ball in the end zone for another touchdown and instantly, a game that was once 9-7 was 23-7 in the span of about 30 seconds.

The way the game was going, this seemed to put the Broncos in an insurmountable hole. This was also tough for Mims, who made some big plays in this game including a diving 47-yard catch and a 52-yard punt return.

This play was unfortunate and it's the kind of play you can't have in a game where you're struggling to move the football. Hopefully, the rookie Mims learns from this mistake and never has a play like that again in his career.