Erik Scalavino notes Welker's and Brady's take on the 4th quarter missed opportunity on third-and-three from their own 28-yard line, with just over four minutes remaining, the score tied at 17, and the Patriots offense driving.
[Welker] was supposed to run a short comeback-route and pick up the first down. But with all that real estate in front of him, the obvious adjustment was to keep running. He swiveled his head back to his right, expecting to see Tom Brady's pass sailing toward him. Welker was Brady’s intended target all along, but the QB threw to the spot where he expected his receiver to be because Brady hadn’t read the adjustment the way Welker had.
"I can’t really go out there and freelance like that," he said contritely. "[Brady’s] expecting me to take so many steps … I can’t put him in a spot like that. I have to make sure we get the first down and then go from there."
"I was expecting him to do something different, he was expecting me to do something different … that’s why it looked the way it looked," Brady added. "We just gotta get on the same page."
Gene Wojciechowski notes this was more than 'just a game' for McDaniels and Belichick.
If it didn't matter so much, McDaniels would have never made a beeline for the Patriots' team buses after he was done with his postgame news conference. That's where he found Brady. And if this was just another game, Belichick himself would have never stopped by McDaniels' office to congratulate him on the victory.
Unlike the great Eric Mangini-Belichick cold-shoulder-fest, it seems the Patriots (and Belichick) still have a soft spot for McDaniels. If not, they deserve acting awards for the way they greeted him at the team buses. Our own Mike Reiss, who covers the Patriots for ESPN Boston.com, had it right when he said Belichick's postgame demeanor was something like "This sucks, but if I'm going to lose, at least it's to this guy."
- Patriots at Broncos Game Notes: Some good news here amidst the loss.
- Erik Scalavino Pats-Broncos analysis: Failure to execute.
- Post-Game Pressers: Tom Brady (7.46 min audio), Bill Belichick (5.34 min. audio)
Top Ten Special Teams plays in Patriots history.
- MIchael Vega reports the loss stemmed from New England squandering leads in the first half, going scoreless in the second half, and allowing Denver to drive 98 yards down the field and score. Ya think?
- Karen Guregian notes Josh McDaniels put his training to good use and mastered Bill Belichick. This time.
- Mike Reiss notes the key play of the game was the strip-sack of Brady, and the Patriots lost the time of possession battle for the first time, leaving the defense on the field too long.
- Chris Gasper offers his list of Ups and Downs from yesterday's loss.
- Mike Reiss gives his Three Stars to Vince Wilfork, Chris Hanson and the O-Line (Logan Mankins allowed the only costly mistake.) The biggest downer besides Logan Mankins? Not enough pressure on the QB.
- Chris Gasper blames the Mile High House of Horrors, with Denver as the only team to have a winning record against the Patriots since 2001 and the only team Brady has a losing record against.
- Christopher Price offers his Ten Things we learned from yesterday's loss to Denver.
- Ron Borges summed it up thusly, "The offense hung the defense out to dry while the defense hung itself."
- Michael Whitmer notes Steven Gostkowski was kicking himself after FG miss, "This one hurts a little bit, it’s the first time in a long time I’ve missed a kick and feel like it’s hurt the outcome of a game,’’
- Monique Walker reports this was Jerod Mayo's first game back since his week one knee injury and he made his limited appearance felt with a forced fumble and six tackles.
- Theresa Smith captures Josh McDaniels' fired up emotions after the Broncos' win in Denver.
- Mike Reiss notes that Belichick and McDaniels agreed beforehand to skip the post-game handshake.
- Michael Whitmer Patriots Notebook: Brandon Meriweather's taunting came at a price. Instead of 3rd and 3 at the NE 22, the penalty gave the Broncos a 1st down on the 11 from where they scored on the next play. Matt Light injured his right knee in the 4th quarter; Benjamin Watson left in the 2nd half with a head injury; Moss made his first career interception; Sammy Morris had the bulk of the carries and Rob Ninkovich had a sack on Kyle Orton.
- NFL Game Center New England at Denver. Stats, drives, analysis and video of Sunday's loss.
- Gene Wojciechowski (ESPN) McDaniels, Broncos mile-high after win.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Denver's new winning ways start with McDaniels.
- Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) McDaniels offes refreshing show of enthusiasm.
Mike Klis (Denver Post) Broncos improve to 5-0 after OT thriller.