September 25, 2017

Gut Check – Game Five at Broncos

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
October 12, 2009

Actually, the phrase is pronounced “Bucking” Broncos, but I understand where you’re coming from.

Thinking of the old adage it’s better to be lucky than good, the Invesco Field crew did plenty of both on their way to a 20-17 overtime win. Like many previous games at Denver, New England failed to take a game they could have won. “Could have” gets them to 3-2 and a lot of questions as they look to face similar kill-them-softly, possession-type offenses the rest of the year.

Some quick notes…

Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead: Watching this small-market thriller provided viewers with an inevitable sense of dread. Much like Sunday, it lacks a happy ending.

Braying Brady: Quarterback Tom Brady (19 of 33, 215 yards, two TDs) had a half-decent game, literally, helping the Pats to 17 points in two quarters but none after that. Brady missed Randy Moss in the end zone in the first half and came up short on Wes Welker breaking into the clear with four minutes to go. He then fumbled with 1:47 left. Tough to watch.

As for his barking after incompletions? Tom, you might want to settle down with that. You’re awesome, but sometimes it’s you.

Rocky Mountain Hi-larious: And to lose to Denver in those horrid uniforms. My God.

Kyle High Club: Anyone still thinking that Josh McDaniels got robbed in the Kyle Orton-for-Jay Cutler trade, check out Orton’s first half numbers after Denver’s 90-yard drive in the second quarter: 14 for 17, 131 yards, one TD. Orton finished 35 of 48 for 330 yards and two TDs. Most important for the Broncos, Orton made no mistakes (his interception came on the last play of the first half, an end zone heave picked off by Moss).

Marshall Plan: It’s simple, really. Throw the ball to Brandon Marshall, watch him break tackles and score. Eight catches, 64 yards, two touchdowns.

Talk about death by a thousand cuts. Miserable.

They Was Rob’ed: Special teamer/surprise participant Rob Ninkovich had a sack and a tipped pass in the second quarter. Could have used more of that in the second half.

Welker’s Back: Receiver Wes Welker had to take one down off at the end of the first half due to back pain. Yours would hurt, too, if you got speared by Brian Dawkins. Nice work by Welker to get back on the field on the next possible play.

Keep The Tip: Seriously, when your safety (Brandon McGowan) and your corner (Jonathan Wilhite) both get hands on the football, you’d expect to at least knock it down, right? I mean, you wouldn’t think receiver Jabar Gaffney would come down with it for a first down, you know?

I mean, what the hell?

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]


  1. Chris,
    Could you please explain the “taunting” penalty? I don’t understand how that call could be made at that point in the game and how the flag could be thrown BEFORE the taunting was done. I realize the Pats did not play well but please. Also, is there a trend developing with the Patriots being outplayed and outcoached in the second halves?

    • Chris Warner says:

      Mark, I think the flag was thrown initially for an unnecessary roughness penalty on Meriweather, who hit the receiver helmet first. What happened between the toss of the flag and Meriweather’s jabbing his finger at the ground, I have no idea.
      I think a lot of this season will be up to the players. Logan Mankins’ roughness penalty (absolutely useless play, btw), an utter lack of one-on-one victories in the pass rush, no one grabbing a tipped ball for an interception – these plays need to get made.
      New England should be fine short term (let’s hope), but they’ve got to step it up for Manning, Brees and Sanchez II.
      The optimistic side of me says that they’re still forming as a team and figuring out each other’s strengths. The realistic side of me feels like I just swallowed a rotten oyster.

    • Mark… from how I understood it, based on what they quickly mentioned on the broadcast… is that the flag you saw thrown was for pass interference. Of course, the ball was tipped so that flag was rescinded. What we didn’t see… again, from a quick mention by Nantz, I think… is that a flag was thrown out of the camera’s view from the official behind the play (near, say, the 15-20yd line) for taunting. He saw Merriweather point at the receiver on the ground.

      Having said all that, I HOPE that is really what happened, because if not, that would mean the flag that was thrown by that official was a result of ‘anticipating’ taunting! HA!

  2. About TB ‘barking’ and that sometimes it’s HIM. I think that’s exactly what he’s barking about – he knows he should have hit a wide-open Randy Moss and a half-dozen other receivers and he’s pissed at himself. Yeah – a couple of times he’s mad at a receiver because (he thinks) the guy ran the wrong route for the situation, but for the most part I think he’s just frustrated by his own performance right now. Personally, I wish he’d just shake it off, relax and keep the bad passes he’s alreadt thrown from affecting the present and future ones.


  3. Oh, and about tipped balls – didn’t they get about 8 or 9 balls batted in the air last week with no INTs? And then there’s the Gaffney recovery you mentioned that went for a first down (third down and long conversion iirc) when by all rights it should have been picked or incomplete. Balls just aren’t bouncing their way right now. I expect the pendulum to start swinging the other way any time now. 🙂

  4. Was at the game yesterday and walked away with the conclusion that I’m all set with the Laurence Maroney Experience. Had the one 10 yard run, but had another run where he got stuffed for a half yard or maybe no gain by Dawkins. Play ends, everyone back to the huddle, except Maroney, who has to take exception to Dawkins’ woofing, which was pretty standard stuff around the league. Instead of getting his tail back to the huddle where it belongs for the next play, he’s concerned that some guy is woofing over stuffing him for minimal to no gain on the play that just ended – seems to encapsulate all that’s wrong with the guy as a football player. The guy just doesn’t seem to get it and seems to be constantly worried about the wrong thing. Perhaps if he just paid attention to doing his job and nothing else he’d get more opportunities to show the skills the Patriots seem to think he has. My patience with the guy has worn out. Not calling for him to be cut/waived, but his rookie deal can’t end soon enough for me.

  5. Angry Old Bastard says:

    Patriots made Orton look great….. What were they in?…a “prevent defense” all freekin’ day?….the Pats looked like they were scared to death of giving up the deep pass so they GAVE Orton everything underneath. It seemed like their stratagy was, “Orton will eventually screwup and throw a pick”……well, he never did…….meanwhile on the other side, it was like pulling teeth for the Pats to complete a pass……what a revolting development

    • Chris Warner says:

      AOB, I agree: “bend don’t break” only works when the defense makes a play at some point.

      • In other words… it was ‘bend and broke’ yesterday. that 99yd drive was ‘death by a thousand cuts’. And by ‘cuts’, I mean in-cuts and out-cuts. My God, they ran basically the same 2 plays the whole length of the field.

  6. Blastor138 says:

    Someone want to let BB know that that soft zone coverage he likes to run only works if you get a semblance of a pass rush.

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