The Patriots have a plethora of running backs to rotate through, and they’re all capable in their own ways. The Broncos are learning that the hard way on Sunday night.
In less than half a quarter, the Patriots took a 14-3 lead over the Broncos thanks to running backs Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis.
Burkhead’s touchdown, which opened up the scoring, demonstrated his ability as a pass-catcher. He lined up out wide in the red zone and burned safety Darian Stewart in one-on-one coverage as three Broncos defenders kept their eyes locked on tight end Rob Gronkowski. This was one of the easiest touchdowns of Tom Brady’s career:
And then, after the Broncos kicked a field goal, Lewis joined the scoring effort. He did so on special teams, taking a kick return 103 yards to the end zone. He was barely touched, though he did get shoved toward the end zone by Broncos running back Devontae Booker.
It’s also worth noting that the Patriots’ first touchdown came after the Broncos muffed a punt following a three-and-out by the defense to open the game. So, special teams blunders have haunted the Broncos in the first seven minutes of a game against a superior opponent.
Follow along as the Broncos try to make it interesting with our GameTracker here.