NE-DEN Grades: Anderson gashes Patriots, hands them first loss

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Broncos’ 30-24 overtime victory over the Patriots.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

NE-DEN Grades: Anderson gashes Patriots, hands them first loss


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Broncos’ 30-24 overtime victory over the Patriots:

Denver Broncos

– A second NFL start and a second win for QB Brock Osweiler (+2.4), who came up with some big plays down the field late in the game to help lead the Broncos back from a two-score fourth-quarter deficit, bringing them back into the playoff bye conversation. The Patriots chose not to blitz Osweiler often, but when they did, he made them pay, completing six of his 10 passes against the blitz for 117 yards and the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, earning a PFF passing grade of +2.1 against the blitz.

– Since returning from his suspension in Week 5, DE Derek Wolfe (+2.5) has been playing some terrific football in Wade Phillips’ defense, and he continued it last night in the snow. Though he only registered one pressure, he made the most of it, converting it into a sack after driving through Josh Kline (-0.2). Wolfe’s biggest impact, once again, came against the run, where he added five stops to his season total, and now sits fifth among all 3-4 defensive ends in run stops with 21, despite missing four weeks.

– If Osweiler brought the game back from the brink for the Broncos, then it was C.J. Anderson (+4.5) who put the game away with a game-winning performance capped off with his walk-off touchdown run on the Broncos’ third offensive play in overtime. This was Anderson’s highest single-game grade of the season and after a tough start to the year, it’s worth noting that it was around this time of year that Anderson emerged last season. He’s starting to outperform Ronnie Hillman (-2.5), and might be in for another late season surge.

Top performers:

HB C.J. Anderson (+4.5)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (+3.3)
LG/RG Max Garcia (+3.2)
ILB Brandon Marshall (+2.8)
DE Derek Wolfe (+2.5)

 

New England Patriots

– How many more injuries can this New England offense sustain, and still have Tom Brady (+2.9) overcome it with productive performances? Without the surgical precision of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola on short routes, Brady was forced to push the ball downfield more this week, completing only one of his seven downfield attempts on Brandon Bolden’s (+1.8) long touchdown catch. If Gronkowski’s late game injury costs him playing time, you have to wonder where the production will come from, even with Brady under center.

– Of those that the Patriots looked to as replacements for the load that would be borne by Edelman and Amendola ordinarily, only Bolden earned a positive grade as a receiver. Brandon LaFell (-1.5) caught only four of eight targets, though one pushed the Patriots into field goal range for the game-tying attempt at the end of regulation. Similarly, Scott Chandler (-0.8) made a catch on a nice double move for his touchdown, but went 0-of-3 on deep targets, never looking like he would trouble the Broncos down the field. Timely contributions will be crucial while the Patriots get their other receivers healthy, because it seems New England is far enough down the depth chart that they can’t look to these players as down after down contributors.

– After a strong rookie season, Logan Ryan (+3.0) has taken his time to build on those performances, but may just have played the best game of his career last night, shutting down Demaryius Thomas, save for one deep pass to open the Broncos’ go-ahead drive at the end of the game. Targeted nine times last night (eight against Thomas), Ryan surrendered only two catches for 40 yards, with the second pass coming on the Broncos’ go-ahead score when Andre Caldwell (-0.4) beat him on a fade. In the last two weeks Ryan has allowed only three catches for 44 yards on 14 targets, proving that Malcolm Butler is not the only quality corner in the New England secondary.

Top performers:

DT Alan Branch (+6.1)
DE Jabaal Sheard (+3.7)
CB Logan Ryan (+3.0)
QB Tom Brady (+2.9)
TE Rob Gronkowski (+1.9)

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Josh Coryell

    So, can we put the refs as a +1.5 for the Broncos? I kid I kid, but I wouldn’t mind seeing PFF start to do some ref monitoring. It’d be a nice addition to the statistics how aggressive or tentative they are over the course of the season.

    • anon76returns

      I agree with Schaffer on the reffing. The Gronk OPI and the (Ryan?) DPI were pretty minor infractions that got called against the Pats, but Miller was held on so many of Brady’s completions that I lost count. We’re talking blatant, holding up around the neck to save your QB sort of holds, and they only called one. If those calls had been made it would have been a much different ball game. The refs weren’t great, but they weren’t overly biased against the Pats either.

      • James DeMarco

        Missed OL calls happen on both sides in every game. If Refs called them by the book, there would potentially be a call on each down. The main goal is consistency and at which, at least in this game, the refs failed miserable in favour of the Broncos.

        • anon76returns

          LOL! Chung pulled on DT’s shoulder out of his break. It may be ticky-tack, but it’s in the rulebook. You can’t complain that that is a “miserable fail”. Same with Gronk- he initiated contact with Bruton, and then fully extended his arm in pushing off during his out cut. It’s not called that often, but it is certainly “by the books” OPI, not a miserable failure.
          In fact, if anything the holding call on Chung helped the Pats out, as the TD to Caldwell would have been as good from 15 as it was from 4, and without the stoppage for the penalty there would have been too little time on the clock for the Pats to tie up the game in regulation.

        • Rodrigo

          Sure,missed calls happen on both sides.
          But when the NFL average is 5 per game and the #1 defense in sacks gets 0.5 called for them,there is something wrong.

          • Broncobet

            Yeah, they didn’t call it enough, good point.

        • Arnav Gupta

          refs in this game were an embarrassment to all football fans. Ashamed at their lack of judgement.

          • Scot C. Kreider

            Whatever. There wasn’t a single call that was indefensible. Is the officiating everything we would want? No. But this officiating wasn’t worse than what we see on a weekly basis. Under those reduced standards, the officiating was average.

    • Thomas Bell

      The holding call on Evan Mathis was questionable according to Collinsworth, and Talib’s INT didn’t affect the outcome of the play…an arm draped across the back, goes uncalled all the time. NEs calls happened late in the game, so hurt more… but overall roughly same number of penalties for same number of yards. That would be a good stat to start with in looking for bias.

      • Broncobet

        That call on Taleb was in error.the left hand was on his arm but he didn’t exert any force with it. BTW The unnecessary roughness earlier on the kick is the kind of stupidity we can’t afford any longer. but all in all Taleb is magnificent.

  • Bob Schaffer

    Von Miller was held almost every single play and the refs totally ignored it. The refs were horrible towards the Broncos. Face it, down six starters with a second string quarterback and beat the big New England Patsies.

    • crashby89

      Yeah dont go that route. I wanted the Broncos to win but I dont think any team is as hurt by injury as the Pats right now. Edelman, Amendola, Dobson, White, Collins, lost HIghtower and Gronk in the game. Pretty sure I am missing a few O-lineman there as well.

      • anon76returns

        Patriots were missing some good players, but so were the Broncos. Manning and Ware are first ballot HOFers. Clady is a multiple time All Pro LT. Vasquez is an All Pro RG. Ward is a multiple time Pro Bowler. Sylvester Williams has anchored the front 7 all season, and that unit is now 2nd in the league in yards/carry, and first in the league in sacks. And 2 of the Broncos top 3 draft picks (one of whom was a starter, and one of whom looked to get a lot of time in rotation) are on IR. The Broncos were playing just as short handed as the Patriots were, they just had the injuries spread out over more position groups, while all the Pats’ injuries were concentrated on LBs and WRs/TEs/RBs. Not to say that the Broncos had the worst of it, but I’m already a little tired of the excuses for the Patriots’ loss.

        • crashby89

          But the fact is the Pats did have the worst of it, and again I wanted them to lose. Manning has not been Manning even when healthy this year. Ware and Collins are a wash. Both teams lost their starting LT. Broncos lost Ward, Vasquez and Williams during the game Pats lost Hightower and Gronk during the game.

          Beyond that the Pats lost their #1, 2, 3 and 5 WR, #1 RB, #2 TE, starting Center, #2 CB, starting and backup slot CB. The injuries just simply do not compare. Sorry but when healthy no team is as good as the Pats this year. Any objective observer could easily see that.

          • anon76returns

            Ware and Collins aren’t really a wash, in my book. Ward, Vasquez, and Williams were lost in the first quarter, while Gronk was lost for something like 5 minutes counting overtime. Maybe Hightower and Ward were a wash, but the lack of Vasquez and Williams for 3/4 of the game had a much bigger impact on the Broncos than the loss of Gronk for 5 minutes did on the Patriots. And say what you will about Manning, he is a huge part of how the Broncos got to 7 wins. He had a horrible opening 2 games, but from week 3 to week to week 9 he was back to doing Peyton Manning things (other than the INTs), right up until his fascia tear. That’s backed up by both traditional stats and PFF grades. If the Pats lost Brady they could start to compare, but the fact that Osweiler has stepped up doesn’t change the fact that the Broncos are down one of the best QBs to ever play the game. No offense to Edelman/Amendola/Dobson/Lewis, but combined they are not as important as Brady to the Pats, nor would they be as important to the Broncos as Manning.

          • crashby89

            Your 1st sentence says all that needs to be said. Your bias is not going to allow you to see anything objectively. I’m a Colts fan I have no horse in this race and absolutely no reason to support the Pats. Being a Colts fan I love Manning and yes he is an all time great but he has been bad this year even before his game against KC. I think he only had 2 maybe 3 positive grades all year and was rated as the worst QB in the NFL by PFF for most of the season. Traditional stats back that up to as he only had two good ratings (80+) during that stretch (3 all season) those were Det and GB and had 6 TD’s to 11 INT’s. That’s not doing Peyton Manning things and that you think it is shows how little you understand.

            The simple fact remains that you are trying to compare apples to oranges and it is not going to work. When healthy, or even partially healthy no other team is on the Pats level this season. I cant stand the Pats but I can at least be objective. If you dont have anything of value to add then dont bother responding. It’s impossible to argue with someone who cannot admit their bias and at least attempt to be objective.

          • Tyler

            When Ware has been healthy enough to play this season he has played up to his future hall of fame standards. So no, Collins is not on his level.

          • anon76returns

            Manning actually had 4 straight weeks of positive PFF grades (Oak, Cle, GB, Indy, see for yourself: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/11/09/den-ind-grades-colts-defense-luck-hand-broncos-first-blemish-of-season/), with his -0.5 grade vs. Oakland being the only negatively graded game in the Det-Indy stretch (he had a +2.4 grade vs. Det). He’s been bad with INTs, as I said, but other than that (and that’s what effected his passer rating) he had been playing very well. In those 6 games his completion % was 64% (Palmer is 64% on the season, Brady is 65%) yards/attempt was 7.90 (Brady is 7.98 on the season), and he was throwing the ball for 286 yards/game. He was also the least sacked QB in the league over that period, in spite of playing behind the same O line that has gotten Osweiler sacked 11 times in 9 quarters of play. Not to mention, he led the Broncos on 4 game winning/tying drives in his 8 starts, and looked ready to try for a fifth before Talib’s eyepoke against the Colts. That IS doing Peyton Manning things, even if he wasn’t throwing for 350 yards and 3 TDs every week.
            Dismiss me as a biased fan all you want, but I’m right on Manning. He had a rough start in the new offense, but once he and Kubiak figured out what was working for him his play improved substantially, to the point he was doing much more for the Broncos than a bunch of quick little WRs were doing for the Pats.
            And as for my first sentence, as Tyler pointed out, when Healthy Ware was top 3 in the league in QB pressure, per PFF’s rating system. Collins is a good all around LB, but he’s not yet at Ware’s level, and not even close in terms of rushing the passer.

          • rogue

            Ware is old. His back problems are well known. Collins has a non-football illness.

          • anon76returns

            What’s your point? Ware is old and STILL a better player than Collins.

          • Broncobet

            Ware is old but I hope he’s back this week to help Von destroy Phillip I lay $12,000 to win $6,000, Go Broncos!!

          • Broncobet

            We are far better off without Peyton.

          • anon76returns

            I’m not so sure about that. I love what Osweiler’s doing, but he’s getting sacked a lot more than Manning in spite of his increased mobility, and his completion % and yards/attempt are actually worse than what Manning was doing pre-injury and after Kubiak let him take snaps in pistol/shotgun. And after a miserable first two games where Manning threw two wide open bootleg passes into the dirt, Manning was actually starting to hit big on the boot passes in his last few games. What Brock is doing much better than Manning is protecting the ball- the fact that such a cerebral QB as Manning was throwing so many picks will always be a great mystery to me. I certainly don’t think it was the arm strength (other than maybe the 2nd Woodson INT), it was mainly just terrible decisions involving trying to throw over LBs who were playing underneath coverage. Assuming Peyton could figure out how to stop throwing the INTs, I think Peyton’s situational IQ and better timing with receivers (other than Latimer) would actually give us more from the QB position than Brock. Of course, the INT assumption is a big one, and I’m not sure how healthy Peyton can get in the next 5 weeks.

          • Broncobet

            Peyton’s problems are mental as well as physical, I’m 63, I could read six ,two way(high and low) four card hands(in combination with the flop’s four cards) in a second and often corrected the dealer’s mistake. If I see a mistake now, even if I took ten seconds, I don’t dare say anything because my chance of being wrong is so high. Peyton didn’t have trouble with progressions, he didn’t make any, he decided where he was going with the ball pre snap ,hence his horrible play.
            It is funny to rewatch these games and see Brocks’ troubles when everything isn’t as he expected,but that is very good news! He’s young and still VERY intelligent,we will see improvements every game(along with possible backsliding and teams figuring him out more).
            Despite my protestations to the contrary and their injuries, the Patriots are a great team Bellicheck is the finest defensive mind, they couldn’t stop Brock ,I have bet a fortune that San Diego won’t either.

          • Scot C. Kreider

            Of course, this ignores the fact that the Patriots CHOSE to build their roster around players that lack durability. What a shock that a 5’8′ scat back would get injured when put into an every down role. Or that a smallish WR would get injured when being forced to continually catch short passes in the kill zone over the middle. Amendola is a known injury risk. The Patriots created this roster and this offensive identity. Can’t claim it as an excuse when the chickens come home to roost.

          • Broncobet

            Next time Demarius will play well and Brock will be much improved.

        • John

          “The Broncos were playing just as short handed as the Patriots were…” One of the most delusional statements I’ve read on here. I always love catching these clueless fans in the comment section. Pats missing ALL their skill position players on offense outside of Brandon LaFell. The Pats win if not for the refs. That’s not even counting the blatant hold and hands to the face by the Denver line on the TD play after the bullshit holding in the end zone. Those calls obviously followed the bullshit OPI calls on Gronk who is officiated differently than anyone else in the league. The same exact contact happens with every receiver tight end running routes vs press coverage and is never called.

          • anon76returns

            Nothing screams “clueless fan” quite like blaming the refs after your team couldn’t score points all night unless they started a drive in Denver territory. Broncos were missing Hall of Famers, All Pros, and multiple time Pro Bowlers. The Pats were missing Amendolas and Edelmans. Gronk will be a Hall of Famer, but he hardly missed any of the game.
            As for the penalties, Chung did pull on DT’s shoulder, affecting his cut out of his break. Gronkowski did extend his arm in the push off out of his break. You can say they were ticky tack, but those calls get made on teams every week, including against the Pats and Broncos.
            Make excuses all you want. Denver dominated in time of possession (36m to 26m), first downs (23 to 16), yardage (433 to 301), and rushing yardage (179 to 39), and that had nothing to do with the reffing. You want the Pats to win on lucky bounces and favorable calls even when they’re badly outplayed. Tough tittie! As much as it may pain Patriots fans to admit it, the better team won.

          • GorillaWrrior Billy

            Exactly. Had NE NOT started 3 drives in DEN, I’d love to have seen the final score and outcome. Of their 3 TDs:
            NE 1st TD : 4 Plays, started at DEN 47.
            NE 2nd TD : 3 plays , 15 yds (INT Brock at 15 yd line) and
            NE 3rd TD: 3 plays, 65 yds (lucky pass to Bolden 62 yd TD)

            Final score would’ve been 21-10, DEN.

          • T. Kothe

            Regarding that third TD…said lucky pass play had a pretty blatant illegal hands to the face by Vollmer that wasn’t called. If it had been, the TD would have been correctly called back and the Pats would have faced 3rd & 18. Given that they only converted 3 of 13 3rd downs all night, including that TD, odds are extremely high that they wouldn’t have made that TD up and the Broncos would have won in regulation.

          • Arnav Gupta

            what? IDK what you saw, but I saw a broncos defender blow by vollmer, not a hands to the face, by vollmer.

          • Arnav Gupta

            holy crap, gronks opi was one of the worst calls in my life. Even collinsworth had a hard time explaining that.

          • anon76returns

            Collinsworth had trouble explaining several calls in that game, some against the Pats, some against the Broncos. If that was the worst call you’ve seen in your life then you must have been born some time in the 4th quarter. Congrats at learning how to type at such a young age!

          • Broncobet

            Correct call and the best tight in football doesn’t need to extend that arm for separation, he does it all the time anyway.

          • Scot C. Kreider

            Pats missing “all” their skill position players because “all” their good skill position players are injury prone. All teams make choices. Pats chose to build their offensive identity on “elite quickness,” a trait that often comes with elite injury susceptibility. That is the Pats Achilles heel.

          • Broncobet

            You’re delusional.

        • rogue

          Manning’s injury was a blessing for the Broncos.

          • anon76returns

            Sure it was. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe the Patriots could be similarly “blessed”.

          • Arnav Gupta

            did you just wish for a goat qb to get injured, what kind of person wishes for someone to get injured? You’re giving Broncos fans a bad name.

          • anon76returns

            LOL. You’re giving NE fans a reputation for low reading comprehension. You said Manning’s injury was a blessing, which is utter BS. I called your bluff by saying that if it was such a blessing, you could wish your team’s QB got similar treatment.

          • Broncobet

            Of course.

        • rogue

          He neglected to mention that Solder is on IR. Vollmer, a career RT had to start at LT. Cannon is terrible. Tre Jackson was just starting to emerge at G before getting injured. This was his first game back and looked rusty. The most infamous injury replacement was Harper, a PS guy who was called up 2 weeks ago. After Edelman and Amendola, he was the 3rd option on punt rets.

        • Broncobet

          The question is will I cash my massive ML bet of Den/SD -$200??? As I put all the proceeds from our teams Sunday night victory on next Sundays game.

      • JT

        practically all of the guys you named are WRs….they aren’t even that valuable and Gronk still played most of the game.

      • Mark Erickson

        While we’re completely removed from the playoff conversation, I highly doubt anyone is afflicted by injuries more than the Ravens…the only two intended starters on offense we had for week 12 was our RG and RT….the remaining nine personnel are on IR or dealing with week to week injuries, I won’t bother going into the injuries on defense 😉

        • crashby89

          Yeah my bad I honestly forgot about the Ravens. Been about as bad of a year that you can have for any team as far I can remember.

      • T. Kothe

        Actually, the Ravens have at least 14 guys on IR (or soon to be) that have started for them this season. I’ve heard, but haven’t yet verified, that that number might actually be as high as 18. Either way, it still blows both the Broncos’ and the Patriots’ injury issues out of the water. Especially since the majority of their injuries are also to skill position players, including both starting WRs, the starting RB, a TE or two, and their starting QB.

        • crashby89

          Yeah admitted I forgot them to someone else. Should have said among contenders. It’s a shame to see them hurt like that I really thought they could make some playoff noise again this year.

      • Broncobet

        Gronk’s coming back soon as are Amendola and others, we should have benched Peyton earlier(3 yrs) so we’d have won the KS game because now we might have to go to NE for playoffs, the Pats are very good.

        • crashby89

          If you seriously just said you should have benched Peyton 3 years ago you can just stop right now. Nothing you can say will make up for such a terrible comment.

          • Broncobet

            I appreciate your loyalty, and prior to the Rams game last year ,Peyton threw the ball with great accuracy, but he should not have been brought back after he obeyed Fox and took a knee with three (or two?) time outs, forty yards to go and 30 seconds, obviously Fox had no business here either. It’s funny as John has now disclosed that he along with all Bronco fans ,was incensed by this decision.
            We have always been blessed to have #7 and will all the A holes who doubted his draft picks of Wolfe and Brock now admit those were could picks?

    • James DeMarco

      It’s all about integrity. We all how important integrity is to the NFL and the Broncos, the same team that was fined and lost picks for cheating the salary cap during their ONLY SB Titles. Didn’t Von Miller try to trick his drug test by using a child’s urine?
      RE: referee decisions: only a biased, ignorant, deluded Patriot hater would conclude that the ref decisions in this game helped the Patriots.

      • anon76returns

        LOL! Come now, Patsy fans. You’re not really going to start talking about cheating, are you? Next thing you’ll be rolling out the totally debunked “yourteamcheats” website.
        The Broncos gained no competitive advantage from the salary cap episode- they were told by their accountants that they could defer payments to players (in order to build their stadium, not get more players). The NFL told them they were wrong, and the Broncos accepted their penalty. And again, the Broncos gained no competitive advantage, unlike using prohibited filming practices and deflated footballs for “their ONLY SB Titles”.

        • rogue

          Only one football was deflated below NFL minimum. That’s the one Kensil and the Colts had. “Spygate” was only about one camera being placed 3ft into the “forbidden zone”. Your team didn’t gain players, but they didn’t lose any either.

          • anon76returns

            Sure. And the equipment guy called himself “the Deflator” and snuck footballs into locked bathrooms AFTER inspections just because those are fashionable things to do, and the NFL is always trying to persecute one of its most marketable franchises because … Goodell. Sure, everybody is buying that.
            The Broncos wouldn’t have lost any players anyways- Bowlen would have prioritized the team and taken a steeper loan on the stadium (or asked for more public $).

          • Arnav Gupta

            Bowlen doesn’t even run the team anymore due to his Alheizmer’s but he is still an NFL legend.

        • Arnav Gupta
        • Arnav Gupta

          http://yourteamcheats.com/NE

          notice how deflategate gets ZERO cheating points.
          And why are people still talking about this game, it was a week ago!

          • anon76returns

            Notice how you managed to ignore how I already mentioned that debunked website. What do you know, a site put together by Pat fans assigns zeros points to deflategate! What an incredible surprise!

      • Broncobet

        I really like Tom and the Pats but Brady should be flagged for his constant bitching and complaining, just call unsportsmanlike, he’s a smart guy, he’d stop right away which would be a good example to the youth of the country.

    • Max

      Bob, you have to be the most delusional fan I’ve ever encountered. Pats out 4 most important skill position players, all who are major difference makers, and their 2 core and best defenders. Com’on man!!! And 2nd stringer who is playing better than their starter. Hahahah, thanks for the good laugh.

  • JT

    Logan Ryan has a great game because Thomas dropped so many gimme balls….c’mon with the grading now he left him wide open a lot just for Thomas to drop easy ones.

  • Thomas Bell

    I thought this site was supposed to be on a higher level of analysis than bashing and boasting that dominates the other sites. Why do these rhetorical discussions only seem to revolve around NE? Denver happens to have a lot of injured starters, too– I count six. Maybe not as many, but still. Maybe PFF can add up all of their stats and minutes played by both teams injured players, and put that into an equation of questionable calls to determine the “real score” of the game.

    It’s was very telling that Belichek didn’t acknowledge his opponent in the press conference, and instead acknowledged his own players for their effort.

    Lost in the mix is this was a terrifically close and entertaining football game. What are the chances both QBs go 23/42, one TO, and virtually same number of penalties for same number of yards. The difference in the game — for those who choose to look at the actual play on the field — was in NEs unwillingness and inability to run the football. (Which had nothing to do with the refs.)

    • Scot C. Kreider

      That’s a great point. Pats are a one-dimensional team. Hard to keep winning that way when the weather turns.

      • Arnav Gupta

        lol the pats are anything but one dimensional. there gameplan shifts completely from week to week.

        • Scot C. Kreider

          True. I’m not saying anything against the game planning. Just saying that it looks more and more like the game plans have to be built around the passing game. I’m not going to argue over the meaning of “one dimensional,” but that’s what I meant when I said it.

        • T. Kothe

          They certainly were last night, at least.

    • anon76returns

      Performance would be a good way to look at it, but the NFL is a business, so another way of looking at it is in terms of monetary value. Counting Ward & Sly as missing 3/4 of the game, Hightower & Vasquez as missing 1/2 of the game, and ignoring the handful of plays that Malik and Gronk missed:
      the Broncos were missing $49.1M of their $146.5M cap (34% of salary cap unavailable during game), while the Patriots were missing $26.9M of their $141.6M cap (19% of salary cap unavailable during game). As I said before, the Broncos were missing Hall of Famers, All Pros, and Pro Bowlers (including 4 of their 10 highest salaries), while the Patriots were missing Edelmans, Amendolas, and role players (only their 6th highest and 8th highest salaried players were out from among their top 10 salaries). All salary figures courtesy of overthecap.com.

      • Arnav Gupta

        what? looking at it by salary is awful. Manning makes 17.5 million and he has somewhere around 20 ints this year.

      • T. Kothe

        You’ve been on point throughout almost all of the discussion here, anon, but this one flew a bit wide on you. A comparison based on cap $ lost can only be truly accurate if every player were paid exactly what he’s worth. But with the rookie wage scale & players that break out after going cheaply to a team, it’s going to throw that off considerably.

        I thought at first that it wouldn’t impact the sample at hand too stiffly, but both Sly and Hightower are still on rookie deals and are undervalued even with ~$2 million cap hits. Both would go up, but I think Hightower would likely go up a good bit more than Sly. On the periphery, both Heuerman and Sambraillo are wildcards on the Broncos’ end of things, whereas Clady is likely overvalued by this measure.

        I do think that the Broncos’ player value lost to injury in this game ends up being slightly higher than the Patriots’, but it’s not as far apart as your calculated percentages would suggest.

        • anon76returns

          The Pats’ fans and others are saying it wasn’t even close, that the Pats were missing way more talent than the Broncos. I don’t claim that the cap is the most accurate way to judge things, but it does do a very good job (IMO) of showing how much teams have had to adjust from the team that they were hoping to field in the offseason. Certainly the team that the Broncos had on the field at the end of the game was missing more of it’s important parts (based on $ Elway was willing to give players) than what the Patriots were missing (again based on the $ valuation by Bellichick). The Broncos have adjusted better, and have had the injuries spread out to more areas of the team, while the Pats have seen the majority of injuries concentrated with their WRs/RBs (and 3rd and 4th string defenders).

    • Arnav Gupta

      lol Belichick was just being classy. also brady didn’t have any turnovers.

    • snoth cambin

      The Pats have 13 injuries

    • Broncobet

      Agreed it was a wonderful game, what assholes those fans who left early were. I was there against KC and Shottenhiemer 2:13 left KC ball on our 23 yd line 3rd and 3. Everyone gets up and heads to the parking lot, against Shottenhiemer who we always owned and who always mismanaged the clock, as he did here, and while we had the best QB in football who had come back over and over again in heroic fashion.

  • Arnav Gupta

    Pats were very unlucky. refs sucked and injuries bit the pats this year. When healthy the pats are the best in the league hands down. Saying the broncos are better than the patriots is like saying that Peyton is better than brady. (just started a whole nother arguement there..XD)

    • Arnav Gupta

      not to mention colts lost to teams like indy and kc, lol brock is upgrade over manning why is everyone saying that losing manning was a setback???

      • anon76returns

        I seem to recall the Chiefs beating the Pats so badly last year that the typical media meatheads declared Brady was no longer an elite QB. I also recall that the Colts called about the dumbest fake punt play against the Pats that I can ever remember seeing. Without that gift of a turnover leading to 7 points, the Colts pretty much played the Patriots even.

    • anon76returns

      The Patriots had zero drives of 8 plays or more. The Broncos had 4.
      The Patriots had two drives of 50 yards or more. The Broncos had 6.
      The Patriots had 16 first downs. The Broncos had 23.
      The Patriots had 39 yards rushing. The Broncos had 179.
      The Patriots gained 301 total yards. The Broncos gained 433.
      The Patriots had 5 accepted penalties. The Broncos had 6.
      Both team had 1 turnover off of some lucky bounces that set up scores.
      Considering how much better the Broncos played, the Patriots were lucky to even get to overtime.

      Here’s some luck for you: against Green Bay the Broncos had a touchdown pass from Manning to Caldwell wiped away on a 100% bogus OPI call (all contact was within 5 yards of the LOS, and ended well before the ball was thrown). The Broncos response was to score again on the next play after the penalty.
      Last week against the Bears the Broncos got called for 9 penalties while the Bears got called for zero. This included 100% phantom DPI calls against the Broncos secondary that put the Bears in position to tie the game up at the end of regulation. The Broncos defense responded by making the plays to win.

      Quit crying about luck and the refs!

  • Arnav Gupta

    no talks about the clock error with excess timeout. With that extra time, brady could have scored another td, rather than a fg.

    • Arnav Gupta

      thus ending the game in regulation. hey he could have he’s the G.O.A.T.

      • T. Kothe

        This has been addressed by the league itself. There was No clock error. It’s not the refs’ fault, nor the league’s, if for once Belichick didn’t know as much as he thought he did about the rulebook.

    • anon76returns
  • rogue

    “Patsies”? Wow, you Denver fans are cocky. Your team needed OT to beat the crippled Pats at home. If not for Chris Harper’s muffed punt, no way the Broncos win this game. The Pats schedule gets easier now and I don’t see Denver running the table. Pats will get the #1 seed. Collins will be back soon at LB and I see this team getting stronger as the season concludes. Muffing a punt is the quickest way out of the NFL. Case in point, Harper got waived today.

    • anon76returns

      And if Osweiler’s batted pass didn’t bounce directly to Jones, how would the Patriots have been doing in that game? They couldn’t move the ball, couldn’t sustain drives, and relied on two Denver defenders colliding with eachother for their only other score after their first possession.
      We’ll see about the Broncos running the table- they’ve already played a much more difficult schedule than the Patriots (Broncos are 4-0 vs. PFF’s top 10 teams, Patriots are 0-1), and the Broncos are still just a half game back. Broncos will be favored in every one of their remaining games, with the most difficult one (Cincinnati) being played at home. The Pats two most difficult remaining games (Hou & NYJ) will both be on the road, and the way the first NE-NYJ game went this year that game is no gimme.
      Regarding Harper, he was activated from the PS because Amendola was injured. He’s going to stay in the league and on the Pats, and will be back on the PS as soon as he clears waivers. The only lesson to learn from his waiving is that Bellichick expects Amendola to be good to go for this weekend.

    • Broncobet

      Yes, you’ve got a great team who’s getting much stronger soon, I want that AFC title game in Denver we could run the table but I don’t see NE losing again. That Colt game could be costly, or we could just drub you folks at your place.Go Broncos!!

  • Vladimir_Poutine

    Bring on the Donkeys again. Nothing will he sweeter in the NFL to see the pats hand the donks a boot out the playoffs.

  • Arnav Gupta

    lol how many of these denver donkeys fans are bandwagoners. did you all just join the fandom after peyton threw 55 touchdowns in 2013? (all hail lazarbeam, if you don’t know who that is you arent a bloody legend)