AFC West: Broncos-Patriots

Broncos-Patriots news and notes

October, 21, 2008
10/21/08
12:27
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Postgame news and notes:

Bailey
  • If the Broncos have to play without Champ Bailey for a long period of the time, this defense is going to be in trouble. Dre' Bly has been exploited often since coming to Denver. He'd probably be joined by rookie Jack Williams in the starting lineup if Bailey has to miss an extended period of time with the groin injury he suffered against the Patriots. I don't know how Denver would survive that loss.
  • Calvin Lowry, picked up on waivers in early September, replaced Marlon McCree in the starting lineup because of McCree's play in the run defense. The run defense didn't improve with Lowry as the Patriots crushed the Broncos on the ground.
  • In his postgame press conference, Denver coach Mike Shanahan said quarterback Jay Cutler does not have a broken finger. Cutler injured the finger on the first play of the game. Cutler finished the game and will likely be fine when Denver comes out of its bye week on Nov. 2 against Miami.
  • Denver had one bright spot on a miserable night: It had a season-high six sacks.
  • I wonder if New England will re-sign safety John Lynch if Rodney Harrison is out for an extended period of time. New England cut Lynch in September. Lynch, 37, has said often he wants to play again. Lynch, who asked for his release from Denver in July, is similar to Harrison on and off the field and he could fill a void both on the field in the locker room in New England.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

That was a first place team?

The Broncos had to take total control of the AFC West with a win Monday night, but they ended up taking a step backward.

Now the sloppy and banged up Broncos head to their bye week with a 4-3 record and just a one game lead over San Diego. The Chargers have to be feeling very good right now as they begin their week in Europe.

The Broncos were terrible on defense and committed five turnovers. These are problems that have been plaguing this team. Denver has talent on offense but they have to keep their hands on the ball.

Denver is floundering on defense. They were exploited in the passing and running games and with Champ Bailey potentially out with a groin injury, Denver could have big problems when it comes out of the bye week.

The Broncos did not play like a first-place team Monday night and if they continue to play this way, they won't be in first place in the standings either.

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