Danny Woodhead (39) carries the ball against the Denver Broncos during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. (Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE)

Broncos Can't Beat Patriots After Giving Up Big Plays On Third And Long


If you were watching the Denver Broncos take on the New England Patriots Sunday, there was no time for a pit stop. Tom Brady and his offense got 45 first half plays off as the Broncos defense barely got back to the line after the previous play. Talk about being off balance while walking a tight rope between two skyscrapers.

“It caught us off guard,” linebacker Joe Mays said. “We knew they were fast, we knew they were going to get to the line of scrimmage to hike the ball, but it’s a difference from seeing it on film to playing against it. It’s a lot different.”

The high-speed offense was so different that the Broncos gave up big play after big play on third-and-long. How about a 25-yard Danny Woodhead reception on 3rd-and-14, or his 19-yard rush on 3rd-and-17? How about the 25-yard reception by Deion Branch on 3rd-and-12 or the 14-yard Wes Welker grab on 3rd-and-10?

“It really sucks the life out of you when you give up a 3rd-and-20 or whatever it was on a run play,” Champ Bailey said. “People get lucky and pass the ball down there and get it, but you can’t give that up on a run play and expect to win.”

The three games that the Broncos have lost come against playoff caliber teams.

“It just shows that we’re not ready for the real big competition, the elite teams in the NFL, we’re not ready for it,” Mays said. “That’s all it shows and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re a work in progress. We’re still building, we still have a lot of new guys here, so we’ll get better. There’s no doubt about that.”

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