Upon Further Review: A look back at Pats-Broncos
|10.13.09 at 12:51 am ET|
This is a weekly segment we’re calling “Upon Further Review,” one last look at the tape from the previous week’s game and meant to include some things we may have missed the first time around. Basically, it’s one last chance to empty out the notebook before the focus shifts to the week ahead.
•Vince Wilfork had himself a great game on Sunday. The big defensive lineman finished with five tackles on the day, including one for a loss. His finest moment of the day came roughly midway through the third quarter — with the Broncos facing a third and one from the New England six, he met Knowshon Moreno in the hole and hammered him for no gain. Big day for the big fella, who has played well this season.
•Think Tom Brady in Denver is a bad fit? Try Logan Mankins. As a rookie, he had a run-in with ex-Broncos defensive lineman Ebenezer Ekuban where Mankins popped him in the groin and was tossed from the game. (Mankins maintained that Ekuban had been stepping on his hand throughout the game.) On Sunday, he was flagged for bad unnecessary roughness penalty in the second quarter. At the end of a three-yard run by Kevin Faulk, he came crashing into the play, hammering Wesley Woodward from behind. Mankins was also beaten by Vonnie Holliday on the sack and forced fumble of Brady with under two minutes to go.
•When Matt Light went down with an injury in the second half, Sebastian Vollmer stepped in at left tackle and performed as well as could be expected. He did his part to keep the Denver pass rush at bay. Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not offer any news about the status of Light on Monday (although we were first to report, via Twitter, that he was seen on crutches), the team seems to have some confidence in the young German. “I think he did a good job,” running back Sammy Morris said of Vollmer, a rookie out of the University of Houston. “He’s a tough kid who really plays hard.”
•Of all the changes the Patriots made in the offseason, in hindsight, none may have been stranger than not re-signing Jabar Gaffney, who had six catches for 61 yards and put on a clinic in how to be a No. 3 receiver on Sunday against his old team. Think about the decision: You had a guy in Gaffney with two years in the system vs. two guys in Greg Lewis and Joey Galloway who were starting from scratch. Gaffney will never make the Pro Bowl, but to have a No. 3 receiver who understands the complexities of the New England passing game (and is close pals with Randy Moss) would have made the training camp and the first five games of the season a lot easier on the Patriots offense. He had some bad drops last year, and I know that the Broncos paid him an above-market contract, but it would have saved everyone a whole lot of headaches — Galloway included — if he was in Foxboro this year instead of Denver.
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