Rapid Reaction: Patriots 41, Broncos 7

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.