Broncos v. Patriots Report Card

The Denver Broncos receive some of their lowest grades ever for their 41-7 loss to the New Emgland Patriots on Monday Night.

PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- QB Jay Cutler injured his right index finger on the first play of Monday night's game. Cutler didn't appear as sharp, and he came out for a series near the end of the second quarter so the Broncos could take X-rays at halftime. Cutler played the second half and threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, but he also threw a pair of interceptions.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Michael Pittman played through a rib injury and a stinger because the Broncos refused to put Andre Hall back in the game after he fumbled on his only two rushing attempts. Pittman was solid with 88 yards on 20 carries.

PASS DEFENSE: D-minus -- Denver finally got a pass rush, with six sacks, but it didn't matter much. The Broncos didn't get an interception -- they have only two all year -- and allowed Matt Cassel to complete 75 percent of his passes. The Broncos came into the game allowing a completion percentage of more than 72 percent. CB Champ Bailey's groin injury led to plenty of problems in the secondary.

RUSH DEFENSE: F -- Sammy Morris had more than 100 yards with nine minutes left in the first half and had a career best before halftime. Even when Morris went out with a knee injury, his backups played well, and the Patriots ended with 257 yards as a team. The Broncos run defense has had problems stopping anyone the past few weeks, and there doesn't appear to be an end to their struggles in sight.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The Broncos allowed a 44-yard punt return and a 28-yard kickoff return, and they didn't have any big plays of their own. P Brett Kern has been a bright spot -- he averaged 48.6 yards on five punts.

COACHING: F -- The Patriots looked like their old selves, but the Broncos looked ill-prepared. Injuries didn't help, but the Broncos have found no answers for the problems with the run defense or the turnovers that have plagued them. The Broncos need to figure out what needs to change during the bye week.



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