Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/20/11

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 3: Lance Ball #27 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball away from the defense of Langston Moore #97 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the preseason game on August 3, 2009 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
What difference can 15 minutes make? In the world of NFL football the answer for the Denver Broncos is, a lot. That is especially true when your opponent is the vaunted New England Patriots.     In the second quarter of Sunday’s game, the Broncos turned the ball over three times, executed only seven offensive plays for 42 yards, surrendered 151 yards to the Patriots’ Tom Brady-led offense and allowed New England to hang 20 points on the scoreboard.   Denver (8-6) fell to New England (11-3) by a final score of 41-23.   The Broncos’ repeated second quarter mistakes ultimately proved their undoing. Call it a learning experience for the young Broncos.     Playing a team whose offense operates with the precision of a Swiss watch allows no room for such ineptitude, even if for only 15 minutes.   “The turnovers were really the big difference. You're not going to be minus-three against the New England Patriots and win very many ball games,” said Denver Head Coach John Fox after the game.   ...
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