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Sunday, November 24, 2013
Sharing Patriots halftime thoughts

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sharing thoughts at halftime of the New England Patriots' game against the Denver Broncos, with New England trailing 24-0:

Pathetic performance: No need to sugarcoat it. This has been a pathetic performance by the Patriots.

Ridley and Blount don't play after lost fumbles: Running backs Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount lost fumbles in the first quarter and didn't play again. Ridley's ball-security issues are a big problem for the team and threaten his role going forward. If the coaching staff can't trust him to hold on to the ball, it puts the entire team at risk.

Offensive line a disappointment: Broncos defensive end Von Miller is one of the NFL's most dynamic pass-rushers, and he made Patriots left tackle Nate Solder his latest victim with a first-quarter strip sack. The play highlights a general theme from the first half -- the Patriots' offensive line and disappointing play. The unit was supposed to be the strength of the offense.

Third-and-20 on defense ... and the Patriots give it up: While the Patriots' defense hasn't been the main problem, it also has contributed to some of the struggles. When the Broncos face a third-and-20 and convert a screen pass to move the sticks, it highlights what a tough night it's been overall for the Patriots.

Broncos get some credit, too: While the Patriots have played uninspired football, the Broncos' role in the way the first half unfolded also shouldn't be overlooked. The defense delivered some big hits on Ridley and Blount, and also produced the Miller strip sack of Tom Brady with an explosive rush off the edge.

Patriots get ball to start second half: The Patriots won the opening toss and deferred. So they will get the ball to open the second half. As the Patriots went to the locker room at halftime, the crowd booed.