Through the first three quarters the Patriots looked downright dominant. They were able to do whatever they wanted against the Broncos defense and the Pats defense was able to hold its own. As it has been over the past few years, they made it exciting for us in the fourth quarter, with large portion of conservatism served to us for most of the quarter. A few big plays on defense and some timely first downs on offense and the Pats sealed the win but not without a little scare towards the end.
1. The Running Game
For the second week in a row the Patriots were able to have over 200 yards rushing in a game, picking up right where they left off in Buffalo, seemingly running the ball at will against an above average defensive line. Credit goes to every aspect of the running game: The backs, the offensive line, tight ends, Brady/McDaniels calling the plays when Denver was daring them to run. The only negative would be the Ridley fumble but hopefully is just a speed bump that doesn't continue to effect him for the rest of the season.
2. Welkers role in the offense
Just felt like a typical Welker game from the coin flip. Moving the chains and being that reliable safety valve the Brady can always count on. Even when Edelman gets back I think the Patriots have learned that Welker is still the best slot receiver in the game and should be used like that.
3. The emergence of Alfonso Dennard?
I know it is a very small sample size, but he definitely passed the eyeball test in my opinion. For years I have been watching Patriots corners get beat in the same way downfield. Ball thrown in the air, CB is running stride for stride but never turns around to make a play. I have continued to be amazed that they just never learn. McCourty when he is good will show off his ball skills and make plays on the ball, but seems to be very inconsistent with it, which confuses me even more. But what I saw from Dennard was exciting. He was obviously gone after by Manning on a number of occasions and stepped up each time. He was even in position to make a pick on the fade pattern in the endzone but Manning overthrew the receiver completely (maybe on purpose to avoid the INT). We'll see where this goes but it will be interesting to note the playing time of Dennard over the next couple of games.