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Patriots 16-3 win caused Broncos defense to fight Denver offense in the locker room

The Broncos are at a tipping point.

The New England Patriots didn’t just beat the Denver Broncos 16-3; they broke them. The Broncos defenders are apparently fed up with their anemic offensive counterparts and the two sides started to argue in the postgame locker room.

“Coach Gary Kubiak gathered his players and asked if anyone wanted to address the team,” according to’s Mike Silver. “Veteran left tackle Russell Okung, who signed with the Broncos last March, stepped forward to speak, and strong safety T.J. Ward strongly objected. According to several witnesses, that set off a spirited shouting match between the team's defensive backs and offensive linemen -- one which Kubiak had to diffuse before it turned ugly.”

Silver also notes that Okung was “essentially being shouted down by Ward, cornerback Chris Harris and some of the team's other defensive backs.”

To be fair to the Broncos defense, any time you hold Tom Brady and the Patriots to 16 or fewer points, you should win the game. Entering Sunday’s game, the Patriots were 12-35 (25.5%) when they scored 16 or fewer points; the Broncos gave the Patriots their 13th victory.

Although perhaps the Broncos defense could have found a better ambassador to yell at the offense than SS T.J. Ward, who was responsible for the single dumbest play by the Broncos all day.

Any chance of a Broncos comeback ended when Ward was flagged for unnecessary roughness and started to flex, canceling out a third down stop and giving the Patriots more time to run down the clock.

Now the Broncos are almost eliminated from the playoffs. There will be plenty of time to fight on the golf course.