|Light spotted on crutches||10.12.09 at 5:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots left tackle Matt Light was spotted on crutches today in the shower area outside the New England locker room, but there was no brace, cast or support on his injured right knee. Light was injured in the second half of Sunday’s overtime loss to Denver.
|Morris: Offensive issues are ‘fixable’||10.12.09 at 4:48 pm ET|
FOXBORO — While the Patriots offense struggled in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, running back Sammy Morris believes the inconsistencies that have plagued New England on the offensive side of the ball are “fixable.”
“Yeah. I think that’s the positive — it’s fixable. It’s things that we have done in the past and done this year. So again, I think we’ll work on those things and kind of right the ship,” Morris said.
“That’s part of what our focus is from day to day, week to week. It starts [Monday], there’s some on Tuesday, but it’s mainly on Wednesday, just trying to get everybody on the same page.”
Sunday against the Broncos, Morris and the New England offense were able to put up impressive numbers in the first two quarters. Against a Denver defense that entering the contest allowing just 6.5 points per game, the Patriots posted 17 points in the first half on the way to a 17-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Tom Brady hit on touchdown passes to Wes Welker and Benjamin Watson on the way to 152 first-half passing yards.
But things slowed for the New England offense in the second half. The Patriots were held scoreless over the final two quarters, and only got the ball inside the Denver 45-yard line just once in the second half. Brady had just 63 passing yards and zero touchdowns in the second half, while his counterpart, Denver quarterback Kyle Orton, had 199 passing yards and a touchdown in the final two quarters.
Morris, who finished with a team-high 68 rushing yards (as well as 39 receiving yards), said it was a lack of execution that doomed the New England offense in the second half.
“I think, speaking offensively, it’s more of what we didn’t do,” Morris said. “I think we left a lot of points out there and a lot of yards. Obviously, that translated to a loss. But yeah, it’s a bunch of things. Execution is a big factor that we’re lacking right now.”
|Bill Belichick Q&A, 10/12||10.12.09 at 2:08 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR office, here’s the transcript of Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media from today at Gillette Stadium:
Read the rest of this entry »
|Patriots-Broncos postgame notes||10.11.09 at 8:59 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here are some postgame notes from today’s Pats-Broncos game:
MOSS RECORDS FIRST CAREER INTERCEPTION
Randy Moss lined up deep on defense during Denver’s final play of the first half and intercepted a QB Kyle Orton pass to secure New England’s 17-7 first half lead. It is his first career interception and second pass defensed of his career. He recorded his first pass defensed in 2007 at Buffalo (11/18/07). It is the first interception that Denver has thrown in 2009.
Jerod Mayo, the 2008 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, returned to action after missing three games with an injury. Midway through the first quarter, Mayo forced a fumble on a tackle of Denver RB Knowshon Moreno that was recovered by S Branon McGowan at the Denver 45-yard line. That play helped set up New England’s first touchdown. Mayo finished the game with six total tackles.
PATS GET A TAKEAWAY IN 13 STRAIGHT GAMES
The New England Patriots have had at least one forced turnover in 13 straight games, the third longest current streak enerting the Denver game, behind Oakland (15) and the NY Jets (12).
GOSTKOWSKI SETS CAREER-HIGH WITH 53-YARD FIELD GOAL
K Stepen Gostkowski’s 53-yard field goal in the first quarter is a career-high, besting a 52-yard field goal he had vs. Chicago on November 26, 2006. It is tied for the fifth longest in franchise history. Adam Vinatierei set the franchise record with a 57-yard field goal at Chicago (11/10/02).
GOSTKOWSKI TAKES OVER FOURTH PLACE ON ALL-TIME PAT LIST
Gostkowski’s extra point in the first quarter moved him out of a tie with Tony Franklin (163) and into sole possession of fourth place on New England All-Time PAT list. He entered the Denver game tied four fourth place with Tony Franklin on the Patriots All-Time PAT list with 163.
WELKER ABOVE AVERAGE
Wes Welker finished with eight receptions for 86 yards. He has avareged 7.1 receptions per game as a member of the Patriots. Welker has had six or more receptions in 17 of his last 19 regualr-season games.
NINKOVICH RECORD FIRST CAREER SACK
Rob Ninkovich registered his frist NFL sack on a two-yard sack of QB Kyle Orton in the second quarter.
BENJAMIN WATSON SCORES HIS THIRD TOUCHDOWN
TE Benjamin Watson connected with QB Tom Brady on his third touchdown of the 2009 season with a seven-yarder in the second quarte. He had two in the season-opener against Buffalo. He had two touchdowns last season.
PATRIOTS OFFENSE SCORES FIRST TOUCHDOWN PASS AGAINST DENVER IN 2009
The Patriots eight-yard scoring pass from QB Tom Brady to WR Wes Welker was the first touchdown pass against Denver in 2009. The Broncos entered the game ranked second in the NFL in total defense and allowed just two rushing touchdowns and no passing touchdowns in the first four games. Brady added a seven-yard touchdown to TE Ben Watson in the second quarter.
PATRIOTS SCORE 17 AGAINST DENVER
New England scored scored 17 points against a Denver defense that was ranked second and was allowing just 6.5 points per game through the first four games of the 2009 season. New England’s 17 first half points were more than Denver allowed in a single game in 2009.
|Pats kicking themselves over missed opportunity||10.11.09 at 8:30 pm ET|
Sunday’s 20-17 overtime loss to the Broncos could be characterized as a game of missed opportunities for the Patriots, none of which loomed larger than a second-half sequence where they were unable to convert on a drive where the Denver special teams’ unit seemed bound and determined to help out the New England offense by any means necessary.
Leading 17-10 at the end of the third, the Patriots took control of the football on their own four-yard line. New England was able to get a little distance between itself and the back of the end zone, moving the ball out to its 10-yard line, but were forced to punt the ball away. Enter Denver linebacker Darrell Reid, who ran into New England punter Chris Hanson on his punt, allowing the Patriots to get the ball back.
The Patriots then moved the ball out to their 34-yard-line, but stalled again. The two teams lined up for another New England punt … before the Broncos special teams bailed them out again, drawing a penalty for a neutral zone infraction.
First down, Patriots.
New England would get the ball across midfield before Hanson was called on to punt for the third time in the drive. This time, Denver steered clear of Hanson — and of any penalty flags — as the Pats’ punter gently dropped the ball inside the Broncos two on a sweet play by special teams ace Matthew Slater. Denver didn’t let the opportunity pass them by. Kyle Orton engineered a 12-play, 98-yard drive right into the gut of the New England defense that ended up tying the game with just over five minutes remaining, and setting the stage for the Broncos’ overtime win.
It’s not often you get that kind of help, especially on the road in the second half. After the game, the Patriots knew they let a colossal opportunity pass them by.
“There were just too many bad plays. Too many plays where 11 guys aren’t on the same page doing the right thing. And I think that’s the key to offensive football,” said Brady, who suffered the first overtime loss of his career. “I think as a team we’ve got to be able to sustain the drives — when you get the second chance, you’ve got to take advantage of [it]. And we didn’t do that.”
|Snap judgments: Broncos beat Pats in OT||10.11.09 at 8:00 pm ET|
Denver’s Matt Prater connected on a 41-yarder at the 10:15 mark of overtime to lift the Broncos to a 20-17 win over the Patriots Sunday afternoon in Denver. New England had this game in its grasp with a good first-half performance, but it slipped away with a subpar effort in the second half. The Broncos were able to take advantage of their chances late, while the Patriots were not able to convert.
•In the end, Tom Brady finished 19-for-33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Sammy Morris had 68 yards rushing, and Wes Welker had eight catches for 86 yards. However, a late Brady fumble sealed New England’s fate. It was not a good afternoon for the quarterback, who overthrew a wide-open Randy Moss on several occasions. (Moss finished with just one catch for 36 yards.)
•On the other side of the ball, Kyle Orton was 35-for-48 for 330 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Knowshon Moreno had 88 rushing yards, Eddie Royal had 90 receiving yards, while Brandon Marshall added 64 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
•The Patriots offense was fairly smooth and efficient in the first half, but it was a different story in the second half. After taking a 17-7 lead into the locker room at halftime, New England was unable to launch any sort of sustained offensive drive in the third or fourth quarter. Brady had just 63 passing yards and zero touchdowns in the second half, while Orton had 199 passing yards and a touchdown in the final two quarters.
•On the defensive side of the football, New England’s pass coverage was good early, but broke down several times in the second half. Orton was able to string together a key second-half drive that took 98 yards and tied the game at 17 in the fourth quarter. For the most part, the Patriots were able to contain Marshall between the 20s for much of the game. However, Marshall burned them twice in the red zone, including an 11-yard touchdown catch in the second half where he broke free from New England cornerback Leigh Bodden and churned his way into the end zone for the score. Bad tackling all over the field by the Patriots throughout the second half.
•Other than a missed field goal from Stephen Gostkowski — his first missed field goal since the season opener — the Patriots got a good effort on special teams. Punter Chris Hanson was able to buy a roughing-the-punter call that kept a New England drive alive, and the Patriots were also able to keep that same drive alive by drawing the Broncos into neutral zone infraction. (Remarkably, New England wasn’t able to convert on the drive.) In addition, Matthew Slater did a nice job when it came to downing a second-half punt inside the Denver five.
|Broncos win||10.11.09 at 7:36 pm ET|
Matt Prater delivered a 41-yarder in overtime to lift the Broncos to a 20-17 win over the Patriots. More to come shortly…
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