Patriots Versus Broncos Game Notes

Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

In a Week 5 duel Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning, Brady and the New England Patriots defeated Manning and the Denver Broncos 31-21 in an entertaining match between the two best quarterbacks of the current generation. We take a look at a few things that stuck out in this game for the Pats including stats, key possessions and a few records broken:

Game Notes

While Brady has looked good in the first four weeks of the season, he had a lot of velocity on his passes. The most I’ve seen in recent games. Brady finished the game with 223 yards and 1 touchdown.

Rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard made his rookie debut when he entered the game in the second quarter. He played solid with a few key deflections including a key stop on third down in the 2nd quarter. How he’ll be used in the next few games will be interesting to see.

Rookie safety Tavon Wilson made his first NFL start with Steve Gregory out due to injury. He ended the game with 10 tackles (5 solo) which was the second highest on the team.

Wes Welker is proving why he’s been the key to the offense once again. He tied his record for most receptions in the first half with 10 catches. He ended the game with a solid 104 yards on 13 receptions and a touchdown.

This team is running the ball well. And they are doing it by committee. Stevan Ridley led the team with 151 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead, who had a key run on third and seventeen in the third quarter, combined for 101 yards. Brady and Shane Vereen both added a touchdown a piece.

Around the eight minute mark, the Patriots ran a questionable pass play on 4th-and-5 which led to a fumble recovery by the Broncos. At Denver’s 37 yard-line, you have to wonder if Stephen Gostkowski‘s play of late had a lot to do with that decision. Bill Belichick spoke on it in the postgame conference. “Trying to pick it up. It was too long for a field goal. The ball was on the 30-whatever yard line, so we were just trying to pick up the first down.” In Gostkowski’s career he is 5-7 at attempting 50+ field goals.

The defense was solid throughout the night, but starting corner Devin McCourty had a rough night. In the first quarter a pass-interference due to “bad technique” led to a touchdown. That technique allowed a touchdown to Eric Decker in the fourth quarter also. On both the plays, he never turned to get his eye on the ball as he was in position to make a play each time.

When it mattered, the Broncos couldn’t get Brady and company off the field. On third downs, the Pats went 11-17 (65%).

Injury Notes

Cornerback Devin McCourty left the game in the middle of the second quarter, but eventually came back. Linebacker Tracy White left the game in the third quarter with a foot injury. He was the starter in place of rookie linebacker Dont’a Hightower. Linemen Sebastian Volmer (knee) and Logan Mankins (calf) left the game in the fourth quarter and never returned.

Quotes

Linebacker Rob Ninkovich on his game of late after “struggling” in the first few weeks of the season: ”I knew I was capable of making some big plays and being a guy that you can count on so the first couple of weeks I didn’t feel I was playing my style and the way I would like to play, so I felt the last couple weeks I’m doing some things that I’ve been trying to change.” Ninkovich ended the game with 4 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack and 2 forced fumbles (one of Peyton and one on Willis McGahee).

Jerod Mayo on playing against Peyton Manning: ”He still did the things that he’s done in the past. He checked a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage. Even if it’s not vocally, he’s still doing hand signals and little subtle things that change the entire play. It’s like a chess match out there.”

 


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