Three takeaways from Patriots' win over slumping Broncos.
Three takeaways from Patriots' win over slumping Broncos
Tom Brady was nearly flawless against the once-vaunted Broncos defense. Brady, who has lost in seven of 10 prior trips to Denver, threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns including a back-breaking six-yard TD pass to James White to cap a 94-yard drive in the fourth quarter.
With the win, Belichick tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Tom Landry (270) for the third-most total wins by a head coach in NFL history (including playoffs).
The Patriots also tied their own AFC record with their 12th consecutive road win. Its good news for New England (7-2), which begins a six-week schedule with just one home game.
Here are three takeaways from New Englands win.
1. Rex Burkhead stars for Patriots special teams
Many wondered why Bill Belichick signed Rex Burkhead this offseason with a number of running backs already on his roster.
Burkhead, known as a versatile back that can also block the pass rush, displayed his multiple talents on a number of plays Sunday night as the New England special teams enjoyed a breakout game.
Burkheads stellar night began when Isaiah McKenzie muffed a punt in the first quarter, setting up Burkheads 14-yard TD catch.
Just under four minutes later, Dion Lewis returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown to give the Pats a 14-3 lead.
Not done yet, Burkhead blocked a Riley Dixon punt in Denver territory in the second quarter leading to a 28-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.
2. Broncos slump isnt going away any time soon
The quarterback situation, paired with a leaky defense that was once the strength of the team, the Broncos are in danger of losing their sixth straight game next Sunday against the Bengals.
Usually a lock win at home, the Broncos are clearly not in a good place and without much to play for, things are heading south quick.
Denver has lost five straight games by double digits and has been outscored 55-9 in the first quarter during the losing streak.
Over the past three games, the Broncos have given up on average 40.3 points per game. Meanwhile, the Broncos offense that scored 66 points in their first two games has scored a total of 100 in their last seven.
3. Patriots secondary still a huge problem
Matt Patricias defense is still ranked last in the NFL, and when Emmanuel Sanders shreds it for 137 yards despite the inept play of Brock Osweiler, you really know its a problem. Tom Brady can only out-score opponents for so long.
The Patriots have a favorable remaining schedule, facing Tyrod Taylor and Jay Culter twice.
But next weeks game against Derek Carr and the Raiders and Dec. 17s date in Pittsburgh will go a long way to see if the Pats defense can lead the team to victory instead of waiting on Brady to do it for them.
Dion Lewis scored the Patriots first regular season kick return touchdown since Devin McCourtys 104-yarder against the Jets in 2012.