By Jim Lyles
BRONCOS RUSH OFFENSE:
The Broncos rush offense opened the game with the offensive line pushing the Patriots all over the field. The rushing game accounted for 252 yards with an average of 8.1 yards per carry and three scores. Tim Tebow rushed for two touchdowns and Lance Ball added the other score.
Tebow and Ball both fumbled in the second quarter, short circuiting the Broncos scoring chances and contributing to Patriots scores.
BRONCOS PASS OFFENSE:
Tebow passed for 194 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Tebow was sacked four times for a loss of 53 yards. The Patriots pass rush did a solid job of collapsing the pocket around Tebow, curtailing his normal escape routes.
There were very few times during the game where Broncos receivers were fully open. Tebow’s quarterback rating for the game was a very respectable 80.5. Considering the amount of pressure coming from the Pats, Tebow’s performance wasn’t bad.
BRONCOS RUN DEFENSE:
The Patriots didn’t exactly run wild on the Broncos with 141 yards on 36 attempts, but they did match the Broncos three touchdowns on the ground. Tom Brady had one rushing touchdown and running backs Danny Woodhead and Benjarvus Green-Ellis had one each.
The effectiveness of the Patriots running game allowed Brady to use the play action to freeze the Broncos secondary and allow the Pats receivers to get open.
BRONCOS PASS DEFENSE:
Brady went 23-for-34 for 310 yards and threw 2 TDs and no INTs. He finished the day with a QB rating of 117.3.
The Broncos secondary was overmatched by the quality of receivers, and they were caught out of position many times, allowing the Patriots to run amok after the catch. Brady surgically dissected the Broncos secondary.
The Broncos sacked Brady twice. Elvis Dumervil lifted Brady completely off the turf and deposited him harshly on his back. Quinton Carter also contributed a sack on a safety blitz.
BRONCOS SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Broncos failed to handle an extra point attempt by Matt Prater, and Quan Cosby muffed a punt which was recovered by the Patriots deep in Broncos territory..
The kickoff and punt return teams provided no boost to the Broncos cause.
Britton Colquitt must have thought that he put in part time duty as he punted only three times during the game averaging 55.0 yards per punt.
OVERALL TEAM RATING:
This game was a way of measuring the maturation of this Denver Broncos football team. The Broncos came into this contest on an emotional high against a Patriots team that is one of the elite teams in the game. This game made it apparent that for all the good that has come out of the Broncos this season, they still have a lot of work ahead of them.
The Broncos had to play this one flawlessly if they were going to win
The Broncos had a good game plan in place, scoring on their first three possessions of the game, but the turnovers killed them. The game became a shootout and it’s cleat that the Broncos don’t have enough horsepower to compete with Brady and the Patriots offensive arsenal.