Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Sunday, November 24, 2013
Quick-hit thoughts from first quarter

By Field Yates

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After 15 minutes of play, the New England Patriots trail the Denver Broncos, 17-0. Passing along quick-hit notes and observations from the first quarter.

1. No Dennard, Spikes in starting lineup. Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (knee) and linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee) were both listed as questionable to play, but each suited up. However, neither was in their customary spots in the starting lineup, with rookie cornerback Logan Ryan and linebacker Jamie Collins in the starting lineup. Dennard and Spikes appeared on the defense's second drive.

2. Ridley fumbles, Miller returns for a score. Patriots running back Stevan Ridley fumbled with just over 10 minutes to play in the first quarter, his third straight game with a fumble. Broncos linebacker Von Miller scooped up the fumble and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. It would be a surprise to see Ridley back on the field for quite some time.

3. Brady stripped, Broncos capitalize. Just two plays after Ridley's fumble, Tom Brady was strip-sacked by Von Miller and the Broncos took over deep in Patriots territory. Just two plays after that, running back Knowshon Moreno scampered in for a two-yard touchdown to give the Broncos a two-score lead.

4. Blount fumbles, Broncos add FG. Running back LeGarrette Blount, taking over for Ridley following his fumble, had a costly fumble of his own, as he put the ball on the ground and gave Denver the football at the Patriots' 44. The defense did well to hold the Broncos to a chip shot field goal. The Patriots became the first team to fumble three times in the first quarter of a game since 2007.

5. Penalty box. The following Patriot was flagged for a penalty during the first quarter: tight end Rob Gronkowski (false start).