Jared Wickerham - Getty Images
Highlighting a few numbers that stood out from the Patriots 31-21 week five victory over the Denver Broncos.
Patriots time of possession against the Broncos yesterday. It was clear that the Patriots' had two objectives in stopping Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense: avoid giving up the big play, and keep Peyton Manning off the field as much as possible.
Total first downs by the Patriots' offense yesterday, a team record. While the Patriots didn't have many big plays of 20+ yards, they consistently moved the chains and converted third downs. In total, the Patriots converted 11 of 17 third downs.
Receptions and targets for receiver Wes Welker, who was unable to be contained by the Broncos defense, particularly on third downs. While it was puzzling to see Julian Edelman playing ahead of Welker early in the season, if he plays ahead of Welker upon his return, it would be downright inexplicable.
Yesterday marked Tom Brady's 37th straight game with a touchdown pass, passing Brett Favre' mark of 36. Brady is now third place all time in the category, behind only Johnny Unitas and Drew Brees, who broke the record yesterday against the Chargers. Something tells me that if Brady ever did beat Brees' mark, he wouldn't make anywhere close to the celebration that Brees threw for himself yesterday.
Total rushing yards for the Patriots on Sunday, 151 of which came from second year pro Stevan Ridley.
54 to 31
Building off of that: the Patriots run to pass balance in yesterdays game. That's nearly a 2 to 1 advantage in favor of the running game. It's still very early in the year, but if the Patriots truly do have a top five running attack, as they've showcased thus far, it will make the rest of the offense that much more efficient.
Scoring drives of at least 12 plays and 80 yards by the Patriots offense. Those four drives were like clockwork for the offense, and really showcased the efficiency of the Patriots' no-huddle offense.
Number of combined sacks and quarterback hits on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The offense was solid for the most part Sunday, but did miss out on some scoring opportunities, particularly later in the first half. Part of the blame has to be on the offensive line. It's a unit that looks solid at times, yet remains remarkably inconsistent.