Loss to New England Patriots exploits where the Denver Broncos need work


Nov 2, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) look over papers on the sideline during the fourth quarter of their 43-21 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos were riding high prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the New England Patriots, entering with a record of 6-1 atop the AFC. Unfortunately for Denver, they took the loss in Foxboro falling 43-21.

Despite the strong backlash the Broncos got for laying an egg in New England, this loss will be beneficial moving forward in my eyes. Before I go any further, how about Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning taking the blame for his team following the loss. Granted, it definitely wasn’t Manning’s fault but that’s what you expect out of your leader.

First order of business, the offensive line was nonexistent whatsoever. They failed to get Peyton Manning room to breathe while the run-game consisting of Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson didn’t receive any holes or push. Manning had a good game minus the two interceptions but the duo of Hillman/Thompson combined for just 22 yards; Denver had 43 yards rushing – 18 of those yards from C.J. Anderson late in the fourth quarter.

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With no push from the offensive line, Denver became somewhat one-dimensional and predictable if you will. Tip your cap to New England for the way they stuffed the run and disguised coverage – especially when Rob Nikovich dropped back far into coverage for his interception of Manning.

The right-tackle position is clearly Denver’s weak-link on the line. Denver replaced Chris Clark with Paul Cornick and are getting basically the same result. For me, I was hoping they would have made a play at the deadline for a tackle but that’s definitely out of the question now.

Second, special teams was terrible. After Britton Colquitt nearly got his punt blocked, the next worse thing possible happened. Patriots receiver Julian Edelman took the punt all the way to the house for the 84-yard score. On that play however, Broncos linebacker Corey Nelson was clearly blocked in the back at the 8:23 mark in the second quarter – no call from the referees.

Third, no pass-rush equals bad results. New England’s offensive line did a great job bottling up the top sack-tandem in the league, Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Denver recorded just one sack Sunday afternoon, coming from Ware as Brady was scrabbling to the middle of the field – a coverage sack. Although Denver had eight QB hits, Brady had his way with the secondary – passing for over 333 yards and four touchdown passes.

Last but not least, the coaching staff of New England get’s it; they let Tom Brady be Tom Brady. Denver dug themselves a hole tonight with penalties and field position, but John Fox has to wake up and realize his conservative nonsense has to go in order for Denver to take the next step – hopefully winning the Super Bowl? This team is as good as it gets, but you cannot continue to dial-up 3rd-and-long draws and play for field position – let Peyton Manning be Peyton Manning; he’s one of the greatest if not the greatest quarterback of all-time.

The Denver Broncos (6-2) resume action next Sunday as they take on the division rival Oakland Raiders on the road. Kick-off is scheduled for 4:05 PM EST, 2:05 PM MST.