One week after getting steamrolled on national television by the San Diego Chargers, the Patriots returned the favor to the AFC West on Monday night by running all over the Denver Broncos, 41-7, keeping themselves within striking distance of the Buffalo Bills.
The Broncos were in a giving mood much of the night, and started on the games first drive when Andre Hall put his first of two fumbles on the ground, and the turnovers just kept on coming. Quarterback Jay Cutler, injured on the games first play when his hand struck Vince Wilfork's helmet, was picked off twice and lost a fumble, as the Broncos turned the ball over five times. Five turnovers is a bad idea, especially when you force none.
The Denver defense managed to get in Matt Cassel's face quite a bit, sacking him six times, but it didn't matter because the Broncos defense couldn't tackle Sammy Morris, and still allowed Cassel to complete 75% of is passes, right on par with what the rest of the Broncos opponents have done this year.
Patriots running back Sammy Morris had himself a career night rushing for 138 yards on 16 carries. BenJarvus Green-Ellis registered 65 yards on 13 carries, while Kevin Faulk had 50 on four. In the end, the Patriots pounded out 257 yards on 38 carries (over six yards a carry). Seriously, who needs Laurence Maroney?
Matt Cassel, continuing with his Jeckyll and Hyde act, threw three touchdowns, including two to Randy Moss who looked like Randy Moss for the first time this year.
The worst news of the night for New England was the injury suffered by safety Rodney Harrison, who was carted off the field early in the fourth quarter. According to Head Coach Bill Belichick, "it doesn't look too good."