Broncos v. Patriots Report Card

Check out how the Denver Broncos graded in their 28-20 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday.


PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- Jake Plummer hit some long throws and didn't throw any interceptions. Plummer, who threw 20 interceptions last year and has a reputation as a poor decision maker, hasn't thrown an interception since Week 2. He played another efficient game against the Patriots, completing 17-of-24 passes.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson are each playing well, and the Broncos rank third in the NFL in rushing offense. Bell is backing up Anderson, but he is on pace for 1,000 yards. He had a 68-yard run against New England and finished with 114 yards on 13 carries. Bell gives the Broncos the threat of a big play anytime he touches the ball.

PASS DEFENSE: C-minus -- The Broncos allowed New England to get back into Sunday's game because Tom Brady had a lot of time in the second half, and he started picking apart Denver's secondary. The Broncos also didn't get an interception against Brady. Denver got pressure on Brady for most of the first half, but Brady did a good job of getting rid of the ball in the second half.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- Denver was facing the unimpressive duo of Patrick Pass and Amos Zereoue because Corey Dillon was out. But Pass had 64 yards on 10 carries and the Patriots averaged 4.7 yards per carry as a team. The Broncos allowed a few long runs in the second half as the Patriots got back in the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- The Broncos got another strong performance from Todd Sauerbrun, who averaged 52.3 yards per punt. His net average was 46.9 yards. Denver didn't allow any long returns to Tim Dwight on punts or Bethel Johnson on kickoffs. They didn't get any long returns either, and have only one long return in six weeks.

COACHING: B -- The Broncos took advantage of some of New England's injuries. They hit on a few long plays in the passing game, exploiting some of the inexperienced players and weaknesses in the Patriots' secondary. The only concern was that for the second straight week, Denver almost blew a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter.

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