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Published on 10/07/2012 at Sun Oct 07 19:51.
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Patriots receiver Wes Welker walks into the end zone for his first touchdown in the Patriots win over the Denver Broncos. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The 13th meeting between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady went as expected — two of the NFL’s all-time bests performing outright surgery on opposing defenses.

Surgery on high-speed trains, in this case.

Manning and Brady traded no-huddle, break-neck offensive series through four quarters Sunday, but it was Brady and the Patriots who minimized errors and defeated Manning and the Broncos 31-21 in Week Five action. The Broncos trailed 31-7 at one point and furiously rallied to bring the game within reach; a late Willis McGahee fumble with less than four minutes remaining doomed the Broncos’ comeback effort, however.

The Broncos were incapable of getting off the field as the Patriots proved that the best defense against Peyton Manning is a good offense. They rushed for over 200 yards against the Broncos and kept Manning sidelined for much of the game. Four drives of over 80 yards led to New England touchdowns, and Tom Brady finished with a 117.1 passer rating.

Manning was highly effective as well, but McGahee’s fumble, combined with fumbles by Demaryius Thomas and Manning that all led to turnovers, proved too much for the Broncos to overcome, even with Manning throwing for 345 yards and three touchdowns.

The Broncos moved to 2-3 with the loss.

At 2-3, are you hitting the panic switch on the Broncos season?

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    Not hitting the panic switch, disappointed that we haven’t been able to top any better-than-average team yet, but not panicking, either.

    Plenty of football left to play. The offense made some stupid mistakes that can be corrected and Kuper (and hopefully Franklin) should be back next week.

    The offense can score points, now the defense just needs to step up, and they can do it. The game was frustrating to watch, but I’m confident going into Week 6. Perhaps it’s my orange sunglasses effecting my judgement, but I don’t believe the sky is falling just yet.

    Bring on SD.

  • eljbow

    Not worried at all, if we finish the first 6 games at .500 or better then the division is ours. Based on the first 5 weeks, our schedule doesn’t look that terrible from here on out.

  • Mr. Michael C Russell

    A heartbreaking loss. Still have a great deal of faith. The schedule opens up, an AFC West championship is clearly in the future for these Denver Broncos.

  • Jim

    We let Bunkley leave in FA. We traded a decent prospective CB for Chris Gronk who is a crap FB and we don’t play him. We spent 100 million on Manning who will be lucky to play beyond next year and is clearly not the same guy since the neck surgeries. Everyone knows if Decker or Thomas is the target because Manning only throws more than 10 yards to the left side 90% of the time.

    McGahee is old and stiff in the hips and we are trying to force feed him the ball as a pass catcher. Fox as usual isn’t innovative and won’t give anyone but his favorites a fair shot at anything.

    We reached for Os, passed on Doug Martin, passed on two other good DT prospects we could have picked up, passed on a couple decent LB prospects, won’t give Hilman any touches.

    Ugh. Yeah, I’m frustrated.

  • Doom92

    I agree that its not time to panic, it just is what it is. We got our asses kicked by a better team, one that has been playing together on a high level for quite some time. Well at least the D got iot handed to them. And once again he turnovers cost us the game, plain and simple. ALL of the Def players that were interviewed were pretty honest I thought, “we didn’t play well” was the theme and the fact.

    There we’re some good plays just as well though on both sides of the ball. They are, in spurts, playing together. Rare fumble by Willis but not really a game decider, no one play EVER determines a game as a whole. Some think a missed field goal at the end does but it doesn’t (ala Packers today), if ALL guys play well enough together (like the Pats did) you win. Thomas has for sure got to learn how to hang on to the ball and I think he will.

    Most of you guys know I can be critical but I’m more positive about this than I have been in years. And to think that Peyton cant play is just dumb, when is the last time we had a guy that can march down the field in min to score??? He didn’t fumble today.

    The next couple games could be tough, but I tend to agree with eljbow, it get better for a while before it stiffens again.

  • Doom92

    “We reached for Os, passed on Doug Martin, passed on two other good DT prospects we could have picked up, passed on a couple decent LB prospects, won’t give Hilman any touches.”

    This is the only part of your statment that I agree with but I understand your frustration for sure. I said the exact same thing to the wife today about what we got and what we passed on, BUT this is all past and it cant change now.

  • Leo Maes

    Some of these statements are crazy, today was not a must win game… everyone forgets this was the fifth game of a whole new system Offensively and Defensively. Am I upset with the D, of course… do I think the offense is terrible? No WAY… I was watching the fourth quarter in laughter on how quickly we drove and scored two touchdowns. What we need, is a better start in the first half which we haven’t had all season and the Defense to step it up. Offensively were clicking and fine, if your going to sit here again and again that Willis is old, Manning is old and all we do is ten yard outs… well those ten yard outs are completions and Manning and Willis look fine being at the age they are. C’mon maaannn

  • Sean

    Def didn’t spend 100 mill on Manning. Try 18 this season and the option to opt out for any physical concerns… Did you not see his three touchdown passes and 350 passing yards today? McGahee is playing his best football and is still an animal. He had a couple mistakes but shit happens.

    Our d needs work. Tons of gaps but your comment is ridiculous. You def sound like a Raiders fan.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Who cares about 350 yards and 3 td’s. That sounds like a Raider fan trying to rationalize how great the team is through poor play. Jim is right, Manning can’t throw well to the right side of the field at all. Anyone not wearing goggles can see how blatantly obvious it is. That effectively means we are passing on 40% less field. There is a reason we only put up 21 points. There is a reason we are the “#1 4th quarter team” and don’t do much for the first 3 quarters.

    I too have become worn out watching this once proud organization continue to make poor executive decisions and poor coaching decisions.

    3 out of 5 games we have now been blown out by the 4th quarter. Our offense is every bit as lacking as our defense. It’s just we kick ass against relaxed defenses when it doesn’t really matter and make the final scores look better than the actual play indicates.

    I guess I will just accept the team for what it is, root for the few bright spots like Von Miller and hope Manning can heal enough to contend for a run next year.

  • Sean

    never said the team is great, but we must have been watching different games today because the offense didn’t lose the game.

    Btw. Why would a Raiders fan try to rationalize how good the Broncos are? Genius response there.

  • TheTroglodyte

    7 points in the first 3 quarters sure as hell didn’t help.

    It was an analogy speaking to the intelligence level of the average Raider fan and how they think they are going to win the Super Bowl every single year even when they are eliminated from playoff contention.

  • Sean

    I can agree there have been some poor decisions made over the past few seasons and that the Broncos have a ways to go. Agree with me or not, I firmly believe however that it has been a tough few games and they will come through this season and discussions like this will hopefully come to end.

  • TheTroglodyte

    I hope you are right!

  • Doom92

    Wow is this the same Trog? I’m supposed to be the negative one…lol. You are not your optimistic self at ALL. Getting rid of Tebow really changed your point of veiw. You must be hungary, I had better get you a snickers… ;-)

  • Doom92

    Where is Big Pete? I’d like to know your take buddy…

  • mike chhay

    Like your comment your right. I think just give manning some time he will click with everyone to me the only reason we lost was the turnovers I don’t blame manning one bit. The D couldn’t get stops when they needed to….like that one play 3rd and 17 yds

  • mike chhay

    Yeah Denver Lost but at least this year with manning the score wasn’t that bad of a lost not like last year when Pats killed them. Let’s say we make playoffs and meet Pats again. I have a feeling next time we will see a better and improved manning…….

  • Mike Hawkins

    I’m pretty bummed about the loss to these good teams. I still don’t know what to make of them at this point. Third down defense is a huge problem. It’s been a trend all season and I don’t know that it can just be “fixed”. Turnovers have been the big problem on offense throughout the season to this point. That’s something that can be fixed.

    Looking ahead at the schedule, I see 8-10 winnable games on it. If they go to SD and beat them next week, they are right in the mix for the division. I think San Diego is beatable, but it will not be easy.

    That third and 17 conversion yesterday was completely pathetic. That can just never, ever, ever, ever happen. If Brady completes one to a receiver down there on 3rd and 17, you tip your hat to him and take your lumps. But to have him hand off and it get converted…like I said, that’s pathetic.

    D. Thomas absolutely has to secure the football. That’s two huge plays that we have now lost because of it. McGahee didn’t just fumble in a critical moment, he also failed to secure an easy pass on a big fourth and 1. You know the old saying in football. “If you’re not going to take care of the football, we’ll find someone that will.” Hillman looks like he’s just about ready to be that next guy if Willis doesn’t straighten up. I love Willis, so don’t get me wrong. But, we simply can’t afford for that to happen.

  • Doom92

    Good post!

  • areferee

    The Bronco offense was 2 fumbled balls away from scoring 35 points. Although there are weak areas in the offense, such as at wide receiver, the rancor, if any, should be directed at John Fox and Jack Del Rio who are responsible for the defensive scheme and its players who clearly weren’t ready for the Brady offense and couldn’t handle the talent or the quickness of their attack. A playoff contending defense should not give up 31 points. You don’t need to look any further for the place to improve. As much as they were outplayed, the defense was outcoached.

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    That’s exactly what you were saying last week, right? Oh wait.

    (1) Bunkley was a big loss to the defensive line but the Broncos would have overpaid his value to keep him around (but I’ll consent that perhaps they should have).

    (2) Cassius Vaughn was going to be cut if not traded, so the Broncos got a decent fullback that can get the job done when their offense uses a fullback (which is not often in Peyton Manning’s offense). So just because he doesn’t get a lot of snaps it does not mean he’s crap. And BTW, Cassius has played in four games (starting in one) in Indy and has recorded four tackles, what a loss.

    (3) We spent $18 million on Manning this year and each year following, if the team chooses to keep him around. And he can still play. And Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are not his only targets; Brandon Stokley, Jacob Tamme, Willis McGahee, Joel Dreessen, Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball, Matt Willis, Knowshon Moreno and Chris Gronkowski have also caught passes. As for Manning throwing to the left side 90%, I’d like to see some factual evidence before taking your word for it, because that has not appeared to have been the case (in my eyes).

    (4) McGahee may be old in terms of running backs (30), but he does not have as much ware and tear on his tires as do many other backs his age. He’s actually been very productive (ranked 12th overall in the league in yards with a great 4.5 yards per carry average) and he has found the end zone three times. If you’re going to say he’s “old and stiff in the hips” just because he fumbled in a game, I dare say, twenty-five year old Jamaal Charles must be old and stiff in the hips as well, for I saw him fumble twice just last week.

    (5) As for Coach John Fox not being innovative, I agree. He’s been a conservative coach his entire career and it drives me crazy every week!

    (6) If by Os you are referring to Omar Bolden, I disagree. He has a lot of potential and has not been able to jump stars Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter and one of PFF’s Top Rookies of 2011, Chris Harris. No shame in that. He’ll get his time on defense eventually and in the meantime, he’ll be an effective kick returner if he performs like he did in the preseason.

    (7) Doug Martin is a good back, but the Broncos already have two of those (McGahee and Ronnie Hillman) and Derek Wolfe will help out our defense more than Martin would have helped our offense (and right now our defense could use the help!). Wolf has notched up two sacks and I’m curious as to who the other good defensive tackle and linebacker prospects you mentioned are, for I can’t think of many (if any) that have had more snaps than Wolfe this season.

    (8) As for Hillman, he injured his hamstring over the summer so he was a little behind early in the year and was inactive through the first two games. Since then, he has gotten nineteen touches over the past three weeks as the Broncos ease him into the offense (opposed to rushing him into a starting role as the team did with Knowshon Moreno in 2009, which did not work out well). As the season goes on, he’ll get more carries. But if you’re upset that he didn’t get more carries solely because McGahee fumbled, that’s ludicrous. McGahee is a veteran that is tough and has been in the league for a long time; Hillman is a small rookie. When the team needs tough yards, it’ll be McGahee over Hillman any day of the week.

  • TD30isMVP

    I would say that Manning on a new team against Brady (who has been playing wonderfully) is a mix that ends with us losing. I also saw turnovers that could have made this game more competetive had we not had them. 10-2, the combined records of the teams we lost to. 3rd down is a nightmare and must get fixed. I like this team, I like the mix of old and new players, no we are not Superbowl bound (or at least shouldn’t be) but we are better than we have been.

  • Mike Birtwistle

    win the AFC West, and we’re hosting a play off game.10-6 will probably be enough. 8-0 in the division will seal it.

  • Jon Broncos Heath


  • anthony33

    Surprised by all the comments on the offense. It’s basic, too many turnovers, period.
    The real issue is STILL this defense. It’s basic: lousy scheme, too many DC’s, average (at best) personnel.

  • anthony33

    Couple more things.
    Win next week in SD and go into the bye week at 3-3. Was hoping for 4-2, but I’ll take it.
    Lose next week… don’t want to think about it.

  • TheTroglodyte

    haha no it wasn’t getting rid of Tebow. I have disagreed with so much for so long in this organization and come regular season time, I put it all aside and put my glasses on. I’m just done with it. I may not be a football genius but apparently I know a little more than the people who keep running the show because our results have been very predictable for a very long time now.

  • TheTroglodyte

    I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of what you said but I have to say, as usual for you, it was very well said!

    I think Os meant Osweiler

  • Doom92

    Well brother-man I have to admit I’m with you on most of the decisions that have been coming down as well. I thought our draft, aside from Hillman (hopefully) was a bust. Many of the players we passed on are already making a mark and I wonder if Wolfe is more than good depth and have doubt the the Brockster will ever do anything.

    But I do feel pretty good about what we have and how it can get much better. I very much like the feeling I have with Peyton, even diminished he is better than ANY guy we have had since Elway and he, I think, will even progress. Dude had been off for a tad more than a year and was unable to work out for most of that.

    Yada, yada, yada you know all that. Point is I feel good about him. Now will the rest come along with him is what is to be seen. Not going after Reggie Wayne was as poor a decision as our draft.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Well said!

  • herc_rock

    Their hurry-up is….effective.

  • herc_rock

    The problem is the run D up the middle.

    We’re going to get killed by elite offenses all year if we don’t get better play from our DT’s, MLB’s and safeties.

  • southofthecity

    I went to the game yesterday. Very disappointing. I really didn’t know the Broncos run defense was so awful. Bottled up McFadden nicely last week, but they were exposed on Sunday. Their inability to get off the field on 3rd down is obviously an enormous problem. It’s limiting Manning’s chances with the ball. Except one quarter, Manning has been tremendous. I don’t know how anyone can argue that point thus far. He easily would have put up 30+ on the Patriots yesterday if his team doesn’t put the ball on the ground twice in the red zone. Mcgahee’s fumble was excruciating. Completely inexcusable. Soft. As tough as the game had been to that point, they have a legitimate shot (down 1 score/3:00+ left/2 timeouts and the 2 min warning) if McGahee doesn’t gag. I expect more from a veteran like that. Also waiting for Dumerville to show up and for Champ to make some impact plays. Beating really good teams is going to be nearly impossible if some of the best players on defense are invisible. Frustrating game for sure, but the most difficult part of the schedule (brutal really) is behind them. They can right the ship and go into the bye tied for first with a victory in San Diego next week. A must win for sure.

  • Bryandotcom

    I only have 4 things.
    1. The defense has to get off the field on 3rd down. Not every 3rd down, no. But if you want to beat the good teams, you can’t let them drive down the field on every possesion. Until that happens, we’re going to keep losing the games against the good teams. This defense needs to figure out what is going on quick.
    2. I honestly believe that if we get in the end zone on the first drive, it gives this team a ton of confidence and changes the complex of this game. Let this team play from in front, rather than catch up. I partially blame the coaching staff for not preparing for NE’s defense, which isn’t all that great BUT where they are very good is in causing turn overs. (Currently tied for the league lead with a +10 dfferential..or 3rd in the league with 14 take aways). Where are we? -6. Yesterday there were 2 fumbles that were killer. One by DT at the NE 10 and Willis at the NE 11. This is unacceptable.
    3. Someone mentioned it earlier but to give up a first down on a 3rd and 17 on a run pay is ridiculous.
    4. I don’t care what PM stats are. Or how much different the numbers would be if Tebow was starting. That’s just crap. Do you want to win football games or do you guys want stats?

  • bigtymer39

    Broncos giving up 3rd and long has been the broncos specialty for years now

  • anthony33

    Three excellent points, but are you really saying you would take Tebow over Manning?? I liked Tebow too, and what he brought, but no way do I take him over Manning… no way.

  • Bryandotcom

    Hell no! I’m still glad we are rid of that mess and really hope we have the fortune of getting 5 years out of PM. Comparing PM with TT is lunacy and comedy, at best. The point I was trying to make is this. At the end of the day, stats don’t get us anywhere. W’s do. I think all of us share the same sentiment. It doesn’t matter what the stats are, we just want wins..and lots of them.

  • 350legend

    Im not gonna sit here and blame anybody on the broncos lost against the pats, All im gonna say is that we will get better in due time!!

  • MrEast

    Joe Mays needs to be replaced immediately.

  • anthony33

    Could not agree more. This team is lacking a leader on defense. Champ is a great player and tries to be a leader, but the fact is that he simply does not elevate or inspire others to play at his level. I was really hoping Miller would step-up and into that role, but is seems as though he is going through a bit of a sophomore slump (that will hopefully end soon). Leaders are tough to come by and we have not had one on defense since Al Wilson.

    I’ll give Del Rio bit more time, but it looked like this defense was clueless las Sunday.

    San Diego is now a must win game if we want “MO” on our side heading into the bye week and I think most us would have taken a 3-3 record after this opening schedule.

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    Keith Brooking anyone?

  • kaili

    Now servingdiablo 3 gold supper Tuesday – d3 goldSaturday; breakfast on Sunday again.