Given the Patriots long history of weird games in Denver I fully expected Sunday night to be a close, weird game despite the Broncos stinking. Thankfully I was dead wrong as the Pats blasted Denver 41-16 in the kind of feel good explosion they seemed to be missing this season. To this point last night’s game has to be the signature win of the 2017 season, with the Pats breaking 40 points for the first time.
The Pats are 7-2 and once again, everything appears on track for another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl run.
Make no mistake, special teams led the way in this one. A blocked punt, a recovered muff, a kick off return for touchdown and a perfect Stephen Gostkowski (2/2 FG, 5/5 XP) gave the Pats the early advantage and they never looked back. After two weeks of talking red zone problems, the offense scored four touchdowns on six trips inside the 20.
Overall the balance of the offense was on full display, with the versatility of Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead giving Denver’s defense problems all night long. This has been what we’ve been waiting for. The Pats were successful on early downs and never had to rely on the deep passing game until they had Denver on their heels. Then, in the second half, Brady took to the air to knock Denver out for good.
Defensively, it was Bend-Don’t-Break at it’s finest, led by what I thought was the biggest key to the game — stopping the run. The Pats didn’t have a sack, but got off the field when they needed to, only allowing one touchdown in three Bronco red zone trips. They executed the gameplan in a quiet, unspectacular fashion and that’s just what you need to do to beat a team like the Broncos in Denver.
This is the kind of team win that should leave us feeling pretty good about this Patriots team despite the litany of injuries that have befell them this season. They aren’t without weakness, but when games unfold like Sunday night’s did they look near unbeatable.
More on all of it in this Posits…