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Sunday, 12 November 2017 23:20

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: New England Patriots Defeat Denver Broncos 41-16

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INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: New England Patriots Defeat Denver Broncos 41-16 Image via AP, Jack Dempsey

In their first game after their bye, the New England Patriots went on the road for a game against the Denver Broncos. The Patriots were in control throughout and cruised to an easy victory.

During his career, the city of Denver has been a house of horrors for Tom Brady, Entering Sunday night, Brady was just 3-7 on the road against the Broncos. In fact, Denver is the only team in the NFL that Brady had a sub. 500 record against, 7-9 entering the game. Despite this, after a first possession touchdown the game was never in doubt for the Patriots. New England scored and never looked back as they took off for an easy road victory. This was their fifth win in a row as they now sit at 7-2. The 7-2 record leaves the Patriots tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the best record in the AFC.


1. Bill Belichick - With the victory, Belichick is now tied with legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry for third place on the all time wins list, including postseason. Belichick now has 270 career wins including his postseason victories. 


2. Special Teams - The special teams play for New England set the tone in this game. After going three and out to open the game. Denver promptly fumbled the ensuing punt and New England recovered. That fumble receovery resulted in the first touchdown of the game for the Patriots. Dion Lewis returned a kickoff for a touchdown to give New England their second score of the game. Later one, Rex Burkhead blocked a punt which was recovered by the Patriots to give their offense great starting field position.


3. LaAdrian Waddle - The swing tackle for New England was a huge factor in the win on Sunday night. With Marcus Cannon declared out in the game, Waddle had to step in a draw the assignment of blocking Von Miller. Waddle was up to the challenge as Miller was held without a sack. Not only did Miller not have a sack, he was limited to just one quarterback hit. The emergence of Waddle will only help the Patriots depth going forward.


4. Defense - During New England's five game winning streak, their defense has consistently improved with each week. Sunday night was no different. It was another week where the defense of the Patriots held their opponent to under 400 total yards. The Broncos were also held to only touchdown as the New England defense tightened up when Denver got in the redzone.


5. Tom Brady - At this point in his career, it is getting harder and harder to find records that Brady doesn't have some sort of claim to. With Sunday night's victory, Brady now has 86 career road wins. That puts him ahead of Peyton Manning in that category. Those 86 road victories are the most all time for quarterbacks.


6. Malcolm Butler - Not everything was positive for the Patriots on Sunday night. Butler was consistently abused by Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders. In his coverage, Butler was consistently late or mistiming his jumps. New England will need better play from Butler going forward if they want to keep pace with the Steelers for homefield advantage in the playoffs.


Extra Point


With a game next weekend in Mexico City, the Patriots will be staying behind in Denver for practice this week. This will get them accustomed to to playing in altitude. With Denver being 5,280 feet above sea level, this will help to prepare New England for the altutide in Mexico City, which is over 7,000 feet. That will make conditioning a big factor in next weekend's game against the Oakland Raiders. However, with the week of practice in Denver that could get the Patriots more prepared for the alitude change than the Raiders heading into next week. 

Billy Wyatt

Billy Wyatt is a New England Patriots beat reporter for CLNS Radio. Now covering the Patriots for multiple seasons, Billy is a veteran journalist at CLNSRadio.com A graduate of the University of Hartford with a communications degree, Billy’s prior experience was as a sports writer for the Hartford Informer.You can reach Billy via e-mail at bwyatt_91@yahoo.com. And you can follow him on Twitter @Billy_NFL.