Sunday Night wrap-up: Broncos errors mean easy Patriots win

Getty Images

We’ve established at this point that the Patriots are good at a few things.

They have a manic attention to detail when it comes to special teams. They like spreading it around to backs and tight ends in their passing game. And they don’t need a lot of help.

The Patriots clocked the Broncos 41-16, effectively putting the game to bed in the first half because of an avalanche of Broncos errors on special teams.

But it was how quickly they took advantage of those mistakes that was so alarming.

The longest of their first four touchdown drives (the fact there were more is telling) was a three-minute, 18-second march. That one actually took them seven plays to cover 75 yards. Making people pay in a hurry has been a staple of theirs, but so is taking what is given to them.

With the Broncos defense dedicated to blanketing tight end Rob Gronkowski early, quarterback Tom Brady kept throwing it to the alternatives, with nine different players catching passes, the little stuff that doesn’t make for pretty highlights but remains effective. He finished 25-of-34 for 266 yards and three touchdowns, and was able to let Brian Hoyer finish up.

Their stat sheet numbers might not look overwhelming (they had 350 yards of total offense when Brady called it a night), but they dominated the Broncos throughout this game.

As they do often, to many teams who don’t play cleanly against them. They can be beaten, but not by bad teams which are also sloppy.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. The Broncos have now lost five in a row, and it’s not hard to tell why.

They’re incredibly slow-starting since their bye week, back when they still looked like a decent team.

Since then, they’ve been outscored 55-6 in the first quarter, and 106-24 in the first half.

With an unsettled situation at quarterback (it’s hard to blame either Trevor Siemian or Brock Osweiler), the Broncos are unable to come back from those kinds of holes each week, no matter how good their defense is.

And even though they’ve given up 92 points in the last two weeks, it’s hard to throw rocks at the defense considering the short fields and deficits they had t deal with. That wasn’t the problem Sunday.

2. There was a bright spot for the Broncos. Other than the fact they get to live in Denver, which is lovely.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had six catches for 137 yards, the bulk of Osweiler’s 221 passing yards.

So they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.

3. New Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett looked healthy enough.

He only played two snaps in the first half his debut with his old team, but caught a pair of passes for 32 yards.

That’s not going to make the Packers very happy, after he effectively talked his way out of town while saying he was too injured to play.

4. Speaking of Patriots tight ends, it was nice of Dwayne Allen to arrive this year.

Allen hadn’t caught a pass this year, and after missing one in the first half was 0-for-7 on targets this year.

But his first one mattered, as he caught an 11-yard touchdown pass.

Dealing for him seemed to make sense for the Patriots, considering he was replacing Bennett and they use so many multiple-tight end plays. But until Sunday, they hadn’t gotten much in return for the 2018 fourth-rounder they sent the Colts (they also got a sixth-rounder from Indianapolis in the trade).

5. It takes some work to be a less popular Brock in Denver than Osweiler.

But special teams coach Brock Olivo may have done that.

Watching his units give up a blocked punt, allowing a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and muffing a punt to lead to the first score was a nightmare for Olivo.

All of that stuff happened in the first half, when the Broncos had actually outgained the Patriots 189-184, which illustrates how crushing those mistakes are. Giving the Patriots a free first down in the fourth quarter instead of making them punt was just piling on, and deserved a penalty beyond five yards.

Olivo, the former Lions running back, is in his first year on the job after working under Dave Toub in Kansas City the last three years. He might need a reference soon. Or at least some advice.

76 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Broncos errors mean easy Patriots win

  1. Great win by the 5 time champs!! So cool hearing the Brady chants @ the end of the game in Denver!!!
    So much for the no fly zone! 51 points last week & 41 this week!

  2. Years of poor drafting has finally caught up with this team. For all the credit Elway got for bringing in Manning he deserves equal blame for the current roster.

  3. The Broncos season is done and the players know it. They are already making January vacation plans.

  4. Was not expecting a blowout win against the Broncos, but I will certainly take it. Brady was clean in the pocket tonight with the exception of that one sack which allowed him to light up the Broncos defense, run game did well in between the tackles, and finally Stephon Gilmore has a grasp of the Pats defense. On to Mexico City and hopefully a win against an Oakland Raiders team that will be desperate for a win. Go Pats!

  5. The Pats are by no means perfect (yes we lost that chance 10 years ago before you trolls can say anything). But they easily handled Denver. Siemien isnt a good QB but Osweiler made this game easy for NE. We are on to Oakland.

  6. Sometime shortly after the season ends my biggest regret of the 2017 season, as a Giants fan, will be that we had to play the pathetic Broncos and they cost us the number 1 overall pick.

  7. 41-16 and not much in the way of excitement. It’s a bit like watching the ’03 team that way, not in talent but in execution. They inflict the death of a thousand cuts in all 3 phases of the game just by not making mistakes and taking advantage when the opponent does. And we are on to Mexico…

  8. “We’ve established at this point that the Patriots are good at a few things.”

    No, the Broncos are just horrifically bad at this point.

  9. taintedsaints2009 says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:41 pm
    The Mckenzie fumble changed everything. He needs to be cut.

    Pats will take him, and beat you with him. go ahead and call John and get Elway to cut him.

  10. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    The Broncos season is done and the players know it. They are already making January vacation plans.
    _________________________________________________

    Do they include a golf tournament with your dollfins chip?

  11. “Colem was ref, that’s why we got all th calls.”

    Explain why we didn’t get the flag when tom threw the bomb to cooks in the end zone that Harris held his hand from the 5 yard line INTO the end zone, with an idiot official looking righ at the DB?!

  12. edelmanfanclub says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    The Pats are by no means perfect (yes we lost that chance 10 years ago before you trolls can say anything). But they easily handled Denver. Siemien isnt a good QB but Osweiler made this game easy for NE.
    —————————————————————————————————————————
    Did you watch the game? Osweiler played pretty well – they lost because their special teams were abysmal, and their vaunted defense was totally outcoached by a NE offense that never even tried to challenge their excellent DBs.

  13. “Watching his units give up a blocked punt, allowing a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and muffing a punt to lead to the first score was a nightmare for Olivo.”

    You forgot the 12 men on the field for a Pats punt that meant New England got to keep the ball with a 1st down that led to another score.

    Its 10 minutes since the game is over, does the Donks special teams coach still have a job? If so I can’t imagine why.

    Osweiler played decently but never had a chance to get the offense really going. Donks D was put in a very tough place time and time again by the horrid ST play.

  14. The penalties were ridiculous. Mostly on Denver, but a few on the Pats (a no call on Chris Harris when he grabbed Cooks, and the more egregious no call when Osweiler was roughed on a throw away). But there are a couple of things that I saw.

    1. The Broncos has absolutely nothing up the middle of their defense.

    They got rid of T.J. Ward, thinking that Simmons and Parks together were enough to cover and play down in the box/blanket Gronk. They are not. Simmons hits like Ward, but does not have the instincts. More importantly, this team refused to replace Danny Trevathan when he left, thinking that Brandon Marshall was good enough to hold the middle. Over the last two seasons he has proven that, while he is valuable as a player, he is just not good enough to hold it down on his own. Missing Ward and a long term solution at DT, the middle is just soft for Denver and teams have figured that out.

    2. The Patriots’ run defense is pretty bad.
    Losing Hightower is really the reason why, because Hightower was able to cover up a bunch of holes that the Pats had in the middle of their defense, especially against teams with stronger backs that like to take it between the tackles. They were missing a few players tonight, like Cassius Marsh, but they still need a solution in case they see other ground attacks this year.

    3. Denver hasn’t had a return game in what seems like forever.
    At least, not since they gave Trindon Holliday the boot. But it’s funny that the night Matthew Slater is out the Pats dominate special teams. Was it Denver’s mistakes or the Pats’ strategy? Not sure, but it sure was awful.

    4. Dante Scarnecchia is the best O-line coach in the league.

    5. Martellus Bennett is a liar. He looked just fine tonight. He’s going to be a huge, huge asset this year if he doesn’t get suspended when it comes playoff time.

  15. Also this is the first time I can ever remember the Broncos getting booed at home in over 50 years of watching the NFL

  16. Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.

  17. Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown from being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.

  18. drunkraider says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:33 pm
    Walt Coleman is the head ref, pats get every call.
    ==================================
    Like the Gronkowski touchdown that they blew. 😦

  19. ^^I noticed that too. After Booker came in and stopped on his usual 2 yard pick up I thought I heard a few.

    I also wanted to say that I really liked Rex Burkhead coming out of Nebraska, and when NE picked him up after Cincy ignored him, I figured he could have a game like he did tonight. But between him, Lewis, and White all in the backfield (Gillislee of course didn’t even play tonight), it seems like Brady doesn’t even have to break a sweat if he doesn’t want to. Unreal the things that NE can do.

  20. Cody Laws says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm
    Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown from being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.
    —————-
    Except Pack and their fans have done nothing BUT cry about it, as you’ve just reminded us. But Bennett played hurt most of last season (the 2nd half of it with that bad shoulder) so why didn’t Pack’s fantastic docs find it when they examined him? It wasn’t a secret. He can play limited with it enough to help a team into the playoffs but otherwise would be better off getting it fixed and that is clearly what upset him in Green Bay, that they instead wanted him to play a pointless rest of the season. Simple.

  21. Cody Laws says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown being interviewed by the commentator crew.
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    Packers could have kept him, but chose to cut him.

    25 other teams could have claimed him off waivers before NE and none did.

    What exactly do you want to hear him say?

  22. “Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown being interviewed by the commentator crew. ”

    Bennett was interviewed in the locker room, no one was hiding him. Just keep making up lies so you can self righteously hate the Pats for something they haven’t done.

    SMH

  23. If Bennet was not hurting he would have played more than two first half plays. Players on the Patriots you are happy to be on a winning team.

  24. Bennett has decided that he’s willing to play with a partially torn rotator cuff as long as there is some potential benefit in it, and it’s not a Lost season. The Packers won’t have any kind of case against him for that. He has a right to do that. They had the option of benching him, letting him have surgery, putting him on IR, or cutting him. They chose to cut him. End of story.

    To the guy complaining that Osweiler was roughed, look at the tape. He barely got pushed in the back and he immediately threw his hands in the air and threw himself on the ground hoping for a flag. It was a very good non call.

  25. harrisonhits2 says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:54 pm
    Also this is the first time I can ever remember the Broncos getting booed at home in over 50 years of watching the NFL.
    ——–
    Unless you watched every home Broncos’ game, how would you know? The last time they were booed that bad was when McDaniels was the head coach.

  26. Cody Laws says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm
    Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown from being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.
    ————
    30 other teams had a crack at picking him up on waivers ahead of the Patriots… some of them with lots of cap space, too.

  27. Cody Laws says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm
    Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown from being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.

    —————
    The Patriots have nothing to worty about the Bennett situation. They simply took advantage of what fell in their lap. Bennett broke no league rules either, he was just a total jerk to the Packers who really deserved better from a guy they made a fair comittment to. I can understand the team and fans being angry. Not letting the press beat the horse was just smart, not sure why anyone would think otherwise.

  28. Gronk had the greatest no-catch of the season. Of course the Jets replay monkeys at 345 Park Ave would not allow it.

  29. T.J. Ward is currently the 4th safety on a awful Tampa defense who’s position group is “led” by Chris Conte. They might miss the 2014-15 version of Ward, but not the current model. He’s clearly finished as an NFL player.

  30. Did Sanders have an injury, because he was lighting up Butler in the first half?

    Or did Matty P. just make an adjustment at the half that shut that down?

  31. Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown from being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Then stop crying

  32. The Broncos are AWFUL.

    Vance Joseph looks like every movement in his periphery scares him and IDK that I’ve ever seen him in communication with anybody, he just stands there. Guy’s the Dolphins DC last year (did the Dolphins have some sort of amazing defense or something?) and thus underqualified.

    Elway knew he’s underqualified.

    That’s why Elway hand-picked Joseph to be in charge of Elway’s post-Manning trash… if Joseph looks inept, hopefully the press zeroes in on him, and not on John.

  33. Cody Laws says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm
    Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown from being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.
    ——-
    I’m just gonna log into a football website and post about it, ha! The Bennett brothers aren’t all that likeable but he signed as a FA in the offseason where he passed through GB doctors to get a contract. And he was then released and passed through waivers on just about every team before Pats said yes, let’s take out own look at his health.

    Did he milk an injury or refuse to continue playing through an injury after Rodgers went down? Most likely, and who can blame him. He went there because of Rodgers and they are terrible without him, and he’s near the end of his career. Sure it’s not your ideal team player mindset but I for one am not looking for role models on a Sundays in front of my TV. Don’t get me wrong,I won’t cheer for the likes of Tyreek Hill and/or other abusers, but not I’m not teaching life lessons to my kids on sunday while pointing to the NFL games on TV

  34. davehamgood says:
    November 13, 2017 at 12:59 am
    If Bennet was not hurting he would have played more than two first half plays. Players on the Patriots you are happy to be on a winning team.

    —————
    I think was more than that. But I agree with you thats it makes no sense the way the Patriots spread it out across all those weapons and make it too hard to know where the ball will go next. It makes it really tough on the viewer not being able to know which one player to keep their eyes on every play. It looks to me like Belichick has not given that point a lick of thought.

  35. nbptma1 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 6:28 am
    Did Sanders have an injury, because he was lighting up Butler in the first half?

    Or did Matty P. just make an adjustment at the half that shut that down?

    They must have made an adjustment. He asnt burning Butler either, he was making plays even with butler all over him, some if them were oretty sick. I felt that was more a case Sanders being incredibly good than Butler being bad.

    I though Gilmore was better, but he needs to watch his discipline. Aside from the holding call that gave them the new set if doens I saw him get away with a few others. Im not complaining he didn’t and certainly none of it changed the game outcome, but I would not want chances to ride on luck, he needs to get better at the technique there. Habits like that can be heartbreaking in future games. Im sure the monday morning film session will point that out because that coaching staff is like that.

  36. wib22 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 8:24 am
    Pats are toast anyways.

    Good luck against the NFC
    ——–
    Yeah totally. I heard if the Pats make the SB again the NFL is going to force them to play against an NFC opponent this year!

  37. Yeah totally. I heard if the Pats make the SB again the NFL is going to force them to play against an NFC opponent this year!

    ****

    Falcons exposed them last year.

    Eagles will beat them.

  38. wib22 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 8:24 am
    Pats are toast anyways.

    Good luck against the NFC
    ————————————-

    The Pats don’t look that far ahead ,and last I checked the AFC always plays an NFC team for the Super Bowl. We’re on to Oakland (Mexico).

  39. wib22 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 9:34 am
    Yeah totally. I heard if the Pats make the SB again the NFL is going to force them to play against an NFC opponent this year!

    ****

    Falcons exposed them last year.

    Eagles will beat them.
    —–
    By your definition, I hope we have a chance to see the Eagles expose the Patriots in the SB the way Atlanta did last year. Where did they put that Atlanta SB trophy again?

  40. drunkraider says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:33 pm
    Walt Coleman is the head ref, pats get every call.

    ————

    Ha… 17 years of bitterness for Raider fans. It makes me laugh that he is still a head official in the league. He was old in 2001!

    The Patriots didn’t need any calls yesterday. Denver gave away the game from the start.

  41. wib22 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Falcons exposed them last year.

    Eagles will beat them.
    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    Yes, they were DEFINITELY exposed last year while winning the SB.

  42. Cody Laws says:
    November 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm
    Every one knows Bennett isn’t hurting. And Patriots are hiding this clown from being interviewed by the commentator crew. Oh well, it’s the Packas he’s running away with money. We ain’t gonna cry about it.

    —————

    He has a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum. Packers confirmed that. So he isn’t faking an injury. Doesn’t mean he can’t choose to play through it. It’s not a painful injury, it’s just risking ever having his shoulder completely right if he makes it worse.

  43. wib22 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 9:34 am
    Yeah totally. I heard if the Pats make the SB again the NFL is going to force them to play against an NFC opponent this year!
    ****
    Falcons exposed them last year.
    Eagles will beat them.

    ———–

    The reason the Patriots brought in Cooks was to allow them to play against the inevitable copy cat defenses that tried to force them to throw outside the numbers. The Patriots also have Gronk.

    I don’t think it really matters who they play. They will have a good shot. Once it get’s to the end of the year the games are close to a coin flip. Key is to be in it and try to get the games at home.

  44. If you don’t get a pass rush on Brady he picks you apart. The coverage the Broncos had was good for the most part, but trying to cover guys for 5 seconds is near impossible. Plus the routes they run and Brady’s ball placement makes it difficult as well. But it all comes back to the severe lack of pass rush; even run stopping wasn’t great. Front 7 of Denver was made a non factor.

  45. Loved the pre-game interview with Elway.

    From his lips to our ears (paraphrasing):

    “Bill Belichick is the best coach of all time, maybe in all of sports”
    “Tom Brady will go down as the greatest QB of all time.”

    He added that the Belichick/Brady combination is the best coach/QB combo ever!

    Pretty high praise from a guy who’s seen and played lots of football.

  46. People act like the Broncos defense is on par with the ’85 Bears or something. They weren’t even all that great during the season they won the Super Bowl.

  47. greg2geez says:
    November 13, 2017 at 12:45 am
    Of course you think Denver is lovely, you’re from Carolina.

    __________________________________________________

    You don’t think Denver is lovely? Please do us a favor and tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people who are flocking here in droves. Please help us.

  48. Good luck against the NFC
    —————————–
    Didn’t Brady already drop 450 yds. against the 7-2 Saints in New Orleans?

  49. “If you don’t get a pass rush on Brady he picks you apart….But it all comes back to the severe lack of pass rush; ”

    Actually when teams rush him all the time he usually picks them apart too. Just uses the shorter routes and screens.

    In fact the only team he doesn’t have a higher QBR vs when they are rushing as opposed to not rushing I believe is the Broncos, not counting last night’s game of course. They are the only team historically that his QBR is much lower against whether there is no rush or a heavy pass rush.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!