Broncos Report Card vs. Patriots

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said he didn't think Kyle Orton missed a read the entire game. Check out the Broncos Report Card for the Orton as well as the rest of the Broncos team.

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Josh McDaniels said he didn't think Kyle Orton missed a read the entire game. Orton spread the ball around, with six receivers catching at least three passes. Eddie Royal had a breakout game, Brandon Marshall continued to play well and Jabar Gaffney continued his reliable role. But this game was about Orton, who took the offense on his shoulders and threw for 330 yards in his best game of the season.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Knowshon Moreno played well in his first career start, aside from a lost fumble. Moreno is a complete back for the Broncos -- he can catch the ball out of the backfield and get tough yards inside. He stayed on the field almost the whole game, because Correll Buckhalter was out. LaMont Jordan came in only a few times to spell Moreno, who had 88 yards rushing.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Tom Brady played well in the first half, but under more pressure in the second half he had only 63 yards. The Broncos did a good job keeping Randy Moss under wraps, allowing only one catch for 36 yards. Wes Welker had a decent day with eight catches for 86 yards, but the Broncos didn't allow him to break anything long.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- The Broncos held New England to less than four yards per carry, but the Patriots did a decent job when they ran the ball. Sammy Morris picked up some tough yards. But as the Broncos have done all year, they do a good job swarming to the ball carrier so there aren't a lot of cutback opportunities.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Matt Prater did kick the game-winning field goal, but that didn't save the special teams from harsh criticism by Josh McDaniels. What irked him were two awful fourth-quarter penalties when the Patriots were punting, which gave New England first downs. Looking back, it's surprising Denver won after both penalties -- a running into the kicker call on Darrell Reid and a neutral-zone infraction on Richard Quinn.

COACHING: A -- The Broncos have been great at halftime adjustments and were again Sunday. On defense, they blitzed just a little more. On offense, they noticed New England wasn't getting out of its base defense against their three-receiver sets so they kept passing and attacking the perimeter. McDaniels' energy has been infectious and the Broncos are on a streak not many expected from them before the season started.



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