Well that was, easy? I know at this point I should be used to the Patriots walking into someones stadium and blowing them out. But Denver? The house of horror that is Mile High?? The one place that has seemed to have given Tom Brady trouble so much in his career. A place that Brock Osweiler was able defeat the Patriots in overtime. A place where duck-throwing, noodle armed Peyton Manning was able to defeat the Patriots in the AFC Championship. Denver has always been a place where the Patriots seem to struggle and while I know Denver isn’t that good this season, I thought they would at least put up a fight. And after the 1st series which was a 3 and out where Brady almost threw a interception, I figured we might actually get a game. However, then the next play happened. And after the next play, you just knew this game was already over.
And just like that, the game was over before it even got started. Isaiah McKenzie fumbled his fifth (5th!) punt this season which lead to the 1st of many Patriot touchdowns.
Brady keeping to the theme of this season of dumping off to one of his many pass-catching Running Backs in Rex Burkhead. If that special team blunder didn’t kill any confidence the Broncos had coming into this game, the next time the Patriots touched the ball didn’t help. While the 1st Broncos special teams mistake came when when the Patriots were kicking the ball, this one came when the Patriots were receiving it.
Dion Lewis backing me up by showing the world how explosive he is. 103 yards straight to the house. Dion is special man, I am telling you. His vision and juking ability is off the charts. Not only did he make this big special team play for a touchdown, but he also once again had great success running against this Broncos Defense. He went off last year against Denver putting up 95 yards and he once again seemed to have Denvers number capped off with his 2nd touchdown of the day.
Special teams won this game for the Patriots. Bill Belichick takes a lot of pride in his special teams. Great special teams is the sign of a well coached team. And I can honestly say that last night, Denver was not a well coached team. The Broncos fumbled a punt. They allowed a kick return. And then, after all of that, they allowed a blocked punt. Not ideal!
Three strike and Denver was out. Just a game that never seemed to be in jeopardy for the Patriots. In a game where I thought Osweiler played pretty well, so well that he even got some praise from the broadcast booth! Well, you know, right before he threw an interception…
In all honestly though, it was a smart game plan by the Patriots and it was executed perfectly. They took the Broncos amazing Cornerbacks out of the game by throwing pretty much exclusively to the Running Backs and Tight Ends. Just a great game plan that got the ball out of Brady’s hands quick to slow down the pass rush and really attack the Linebackers. They were throwing to all the Running Backs, Burkhead, Lewis and White. They also used all of their Tight Ends in Gronk, the newly acquired Martellus Bennett, and yes even Dwayne Allen who caught his first pass of the year which happened to be a touchdown!!!
Tom and the Patriots just exploited matchups all game and was able to take advantage of them. The only problem was that Denver also took advantage of some matchups, the worst one being Malcolm Butler on Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders’ quickness and route-running burned Butler all day, which is surprising. Usually Sanders is the type of receiver that Butler covers well. However, yesterday was not Malcolm’s day. The better Cornerback on the field for the Patriots was Stephon Gilmore who did a very nice job on Demaryius Thomas. And just like that, the “struggling” Patriots Defense has held opponents to 17 points or fewer for the 5th straight game. Which puts them in some pretty good company.
This was without a doubt the Patriots most complete game of the season and they just seem to be getting better and better every week. Now we look forward to a match up against the Raiders which we all believed would be a much more hyped game coming into this season. Even though the Raiders have not lived up to their preseason billing, they are still a very talented team that should not be taken lightly. We are on to Mexico City.
HIT THE MUSIC!