Originally written on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 11/20/14

NEW ENGLAND (31) d DENVER (21)


The Headline: Patriots run over the Broncos


The Story:


I suppose the only phrase that can appropriately describe my thoughts on this game is “holy crap, the Patriots are able to run the ball!” This is my 13th season following the NFL (and the Patriots) and this looks like the best running attack this team has had since the 2004 days with Corey Dillon and when the criticism of Tom Brady was “he’s just a game manager.” Well today Brady was asked to manage, direct and produce this fantastic offensive performance as, for the third time in 10 months; the Denver defense had no answer for the Patriots offense. Last year they were dominated through the air, twice, but in this one, it was a true ground and pound performance. On the other side Peyton Manning looked like his old self from time to time making some very assured throws as Demaryius Thomas helped Manning torch the Patriots secondary for nearly 350 yards and three touchdowns but he could only to so much with the limited amount of opportunities he received on the day. His touchdown pass to Brandon Stokely in the fourth quarter looked like something you’d see from the 2004, 49-touchdown version of Manning as he flipped the ball over the linebackers who had bitten on the play fake.


Key Stat: Time of Possession: New England 35:49 – Denver 24:11


It’s amazing how big of a difference a running game can make, in the last few seasons as the Patriots have operated at a Mike Martz level of pass-oriented offense, they have struggled to control the clock often finding themselves at a deficit in the time of possession game despite comfortably winning more often than not. Unfortunately the inability of the offense to hold onto the ball lead to the defense getting gassed against better teams, including in the Super Bowl against the Giants but this year, with a firm commitment to running the ball, the Patriots are now winning the time of possession battle as well allowing them to control the tempo of the game.


Key Play: Willis McGahee fumble, recovered by Jermaine Cunningham in fourth quarter


With 5:19 left with his team trailing by 10, I’m sure that there were plenty of nervous Patriots fans about the possibility of Manning engineering another crazy comeback to break their hearts despite his injury struggles. McGahee got a carry and powered the ball straight up the gut of the Patriots defense but he was met by Rob Ninkovic who forced his second fumble of the day causing McGahee to leave the ball behind and Jermaine Cunningham was there to pick the ball up. From there the Patriots were able to hold onto the ball for the final three and a half minutes and run out the clock to get back above that .500 mark.


Man of the Match: Steven Ridley


28 carries, 151 yards, 1 touchdown


This pick of Ridley in the third round of 2011 is looking like a proper steal so far as he has had three great games so far this year having already bettered his rookie totals in all the important categories. With the support of his backups in Brandon Bolden, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead, Ridley leads a young but so far effective running back group that is producing for Bill Belichick. Ridley fits in the no huddle offense very well so far and looked aggressive and confident running the ball, if he can avoid his almost weekly fumble then he will become an even more lethal weapon for the Patriots to have in their arsenal.





GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys interested in Adrian Peterson?

How much will Rousey and Zingano make for their fight?

Browns agree to three-year deal with Josh McCown

Bulls general manager expects Derrick Rose back in 4-6 weeks

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

PHOTO: ECHL team will wear Dr. Seuss jerseys

Report: Baron Davis in talks to join a contending team

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.