clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: The Denver Broncos picking up the pieces and moving on

The Denver Broncos were annihilated 43-21 by the New England Patriots on Sunday. The players need to pick up the pieces of that game and move on to work towards getting back into position to secure homefield advantage. They'll need to be pretty much perfect from here on out to do it.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos were able to get past their annual house of horrors trip to the Northeast with yet another loss to the New England Patriots in the regular season. The race to homefield advantage starts now and Peyton Manning and the Broncos cannot afford another slip up like this down the stretch. The playoff rematch must be in Denver.

Why? Because playing in Foxborough is just as difficult as playing in Mile High Stadium. The biggest factor, though, is always turnovers as John Fox elaborated saying, "Yeah, they make it tough. Credit them, I think they had a good plan and they executed the plan. Like many times, turnovers made a difference. I think they had fourteen points there, scored in the kicking game and you know, and credit their staff and their players for playing better than we did."

All in all, I don’t think we played well enough. They played better than we did. -Head Coach John Fox

It wasn't all turnovers though. This game was lost on the execution side of the winning formula. Both teams were fairly even statistically, except when it came to situations where execution wins football games. Specifically, third and fourth downs.

"All in all, I don’t think we played well enough. They played better than we did", Coach Fox said, "and I felt third downs were a critical area without seeing the tape yet, and as well as, turnovers."

The Broncos defense had an especially bad day at the office, giving Tom Brady everything he wanted when it came to third down coverage's. It was certainly hard to watch for Broncos fans. Without rewatching the game, I cannot think of any play really standing out on the defensive side of the ball. DeMarcus Ware, maybe.

Broncos star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. certainly knows what all of us knows about how the defense played, saying "We just didn’t play good on third down. That’s usually one of our strong points. Brady, man, on third and long he killed us. They just did a lot of hurry up and our communication wasn’t like it usually is. They just out played us. You can’t make any mistakes out here and he makes you pay when you do."

Even so, when you have Peyton Manning you should be able to have a bad day at the office as a defense every now and then. The problem is, Manning also had a bad day at the office. Naturally, the media assumes its Bill Belichick and the Patriots and it may just be that. Although, that wouldn't explain a fairly even win/loss record between Manning's teams and Belichick's teams over the last half decade or so.

When asked if there was something about the Patriots that gets to him, Manning summed it up pretty well saying, "Oh, I don’t know. I mean, this is 2014, and I thought in today’s game they were better than us. I thought we were just pretty dead average on offense, I thought I was very below average, didn’t play well. So that’s all I can speak for, is really me. I’ve got to play better. I’ve got to do that starting next week."

That wasn't enough of an answer apparently, because someone quickly followed up with a question about Manning not seeing this loss having any relation to his past poor performances against New England. Obviously the questioner was ignoring the 2013 AFC Championship game, but Manning gave a straight answer saying, "I guess I’m not smart enough to draw that many connections. I kind of take them one year at a time. (There are) different players and we didn’t on offense do the things we talked about doing. That starts with me. I’ve got to play better. That’s pretty plain and simple. When the quarterback stinks, usually you’re not going to win too many games."

Brady, man, on third and long he killed us. -Chris Harris Jr.

If we're examining history, I believe the Oakland Raiders are going to face a very angry and focused Peyton Manning next week. Facing winless teams late in the season is always a dangerous proposition, so it might be a good thing that Manning will be working extra harder this week.

Records Keep Falling

  • Since Peyton Manning seems to be breaking records every week, we will start with him. With two touchdown passes on Sunday, he moves into sole possession of first place all-time with his fourteenth regular season game with two touchdown passes or more in a game.
  • Julius Thomas becomes only the third Denver Broncos pass catcher to notch back-to-back seasons with ten touchdowns catches or more, joining Demaryius Thomas and former-Bronco Eric Decker for that distinction.
  • And finally, Demaryius Thomas notched his fifth consecutive 100-yard receiving game moving into third all-time for that streak. He needs one next week to move into a second place tie with Mike Wallace who achieved that mark in 2010-2011. He'll need to go a few more games to catch Calvin Johnson's all-time mark of 8 straight 100 yard receiving games he pulled off during the 2012 season.

Horse Tracks

Roethlisberger's six touchdowns, Patriots over Broncos lead Week 9 | The MMQB
Week 9 had no shortage of big-time storylines. Let’s examine each of them, from Big Ben's second straight six-spot, to the Patriots’ punishment of Peyton, to the Cards’ continued dominance in the NFC.

Week 9: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots highlights - NFL Videos
In a battle between two of the greatest quarterbacks ever, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws for 333 yards and four touchdowns to outduel Peyton Manning and the Broncos 43-21 in Week 9 of NFL action.

Falling in Foxborough |
Turnovers and not getting off the field on third down lead to the Broncos losing to New England 43-21.

Manning takes ownership for struggles |
Peyton Manning and other offensive players talk about their struggles against the Patriots.

Fox: 'Tough place to play' |
Coach Fox meets the media following the 43-21 loss against the New England Patriots.

How it Happened: Broncos-Patriots |
Check out highlights from Sunday's game against the Patriots.

Patriots crush Broncos, take over first place in AFC -
A surgical Tom Brady tossed four touchdowns to lead the New England Patriots to a 43-21 victory over the Denver Broncos in Sunday's matchup of AFC superpowers.

3 things we learned from New England's 43-21 win over Denver -
What was billed as the next great chapter in a long-running rivalry proved disappointing as the Patriots rolled over the Broncos, 43-21.

Broncos Blown Out 43-21 in Foxboro -
Although it started 7-3, it was never that close. Brady and the Patriots pulled out the win in Brady-Manning XVI.

Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots - Recap - ESPN
The chant began midway through the fourth quarter with the latest matchup between the all-time great quarterbacks long ago decided: "Brady's Better."

5 Things we Learned from New England's 43-21 Victory - Pats Pulpit
Five things we learned about the Patriots from their 43-21 victory over the Denver Broncos.

Tom Brady leads way as Patriots dominate Broncos - Sports - The Boston Globe
A 24-point second quarter got the Patriots rolling as they defeated their top rival, 43-21, for their fifth straight victory.

Paige: Ghosts of New England past strike Broncos - The Denver Post
The Broncos don't want to come back to New England . . . ever. But they definitely don't want to return in January, 2015, in the playoffs.

Super Bowl memories return as Broncos fall apart vs. Patriots - The Denver Post
In a forgettable first half here Sunday, the Broncos revived memories of their Super Bowl debacle, treated like a homecoming opponent by the Patriots in an ugly 43-21 loss.

Vince Wilfork not surprised by Patriots' easy win | Denver Post
Vince Wilfork does big well. Big games. Big stops. Big voice. He remains a staple of the Patriots’ defense. Nothing about New England’s 43-21 trucking of the Broncos on Sunday caught him off guard.

AFC West News

San Diego Chargers get embarrassed by Miami Dolphins 37-0 - Bolts From The Blue
The 5-4 San Diego Chargers will take a three-game losing streak and an embarrassment in Miami with them into the bye week, after being boat-raced by the Dolphins.

Anthony Fasano's butt TD, Justin Houston's sacks highlight KC's 24-10 victory - Arrowhead Pride
The Kansas City Chiefs are now 5-3 on the season. Here's what we learned from the Chiefs 24-10 victory over the Jets in Week 9.

Late surge can't make up for Raiders early turnovers, fall 30-24 - Silver And Black Pride
As the Raiders have done a couple times this season, they got out to a fast start with a score on their opening drive.

NFL News

This is how the 49ers lost to the Rams -
Two controversial, possibly incorrect calls decided 49ers-Rams. One involved the refs doing the best with the evidence they had. The other is a bit more baffling.

Death to Football. Long Live Football! - Turf Show Times
It was a defensive battle less than it was offensive horror porn. San Francisco's ramshackle offensive line helped the Rams to more sacks in this one game than they had had all season until today.

Seahawks hang on to beat the Raiders 30-24 - Field Gulls
The Seattle Seahawks opened up a 24-3 lead in the first half but had to hang on against a late Raiders rally to secure a 30-24 victory that, coupled with a 49ers loss, moves them into sole possession of second place in the NFC West at 5-3.

Well, that was a disaster - Niners Nation
The 49ers dropped to 4-4 with an ugly loss to the St. Louis Rams. We consider the disaster that was.

Arizona shuts down Murray, Bryant in 28-17 win to sit atop NFC - Revenge of the Birds
An ugly start turned into a dominate win for the now 7-1 Cardinals.

Redskins Fall to Vikings 29-26 - Hogs Haven
The Redskins couldn't win their third straight game on the road against the Vikings falling 29-26.

Philadelphia wins ugly in Houston, 31-21 - Bleeding Green Nation
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Houston Texans on Sunday, 31-21. The Eagles moved to 6-2 on the 2014 NFL Season. Read on for a drive-by-drive recap of the game.

Cardinals Stifle Cowboys 28-17 - Blogging The Boys
Dallas couldn't run consistently, and the passing offense was largely nonexistent. Unable to score themselves, the Cowboys fell to the Cardinals.

Buccaneers vs. Browns Final Score: 17-22 - Bucs Nation
In a day where the offense showed up for a while, Bobby Rainey had a great game while Mike Glenon was hit and miss.

Minnesota Wins A Wild One, 29-26 - Daily Norseman
The Minnesota Vikings will be going into the bye week with a record of 4-5, as they held on to win a wild one over the Washington Redskins at TCF Bank Stadium, 29-26.

Cincinnati defeats Jacksonville 33-23 - Cincy Jungle
The Cincinnati Bengals won their fifth game of the season after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-23. It had its heart-stopping moments but Cincinnati won the game, as they should have.

Instant Recap: Browns Defeat Buccaneers 22-17 - Dawgs By Nature
The Cleveland Browns defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a final score of 22-17, improving to 5-3 on the season.

5 things we learned in the 33-23 loss - Big Cat Country
The Jaguars running game was good once again, and Blake Bortles got going late, but that was about it against the Bengals.

Miami destroys San Diego in 37-0 rout - The Phinsider
The Miami Dolphins destroyed the San Diego Chargers for a Week 9 blowout win in South Florida.

Chiefs 24 Jets 10: Same Script, Different Day - Gang Green Nation
The Jets fell to 1-8 today. It was their 8th loss in a row. Kansas City defeated Gang Green 24-10 at Arrowhead Stadium.