Videos: Peyton Manning, Broncos don't repay fans' faith in Patriots loss

Categories: Sports

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Videos below.
Not long ago, Broncos Nation was thrilled about the arrival of Peyton Manning -- even many Tim Tebow fans who opposed his trade to the Jets. But five games into the regular season, much of that enthusiasm has ebbed, with large numbers of fans losing faith...including the sometimes irrational belief that Tebow inspired. And yesterday's 31-21 defeat to the Patriots -- the third nice-try loss in four games -- will likely accelerate the process, whether it should or not.

I'm not immune from this emotion. Yesterday, my family and I had a number of household errands we needed to run, so I chose to record the game on DVR -- something I probably wouldn't have done had I been in the grips of full-fledged Broncos fever. During the game, we stopped at our neighborhood King Soopers, which was far from deserted. Indeed, plenty of our fellow shoppers were rocking Broncos gear, including an asshole dad in a Von Miller jersey, who we witnessed snapping irrationally at his ten-to-twelve-year-old son, clad in Manning gear.

Uh-oh, I thought -- and sure enough, when I got home and turned on the TV, the score was the Patriots 31, the Broncos 14. And yet watching the game through the magic of time-shifting, I discovered the contest hadn't been the humiliating blowout that score implied. Manning missed a few passes, but for the most part, he threw the ball accurately, and Willis McGahee generally ran the ball effectively. Moreover, the Broncos defense had its productive moments, sacking Tom Brady three times and making a number of impressive stops.

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Did seeing this guy on the sidelines irritate you as much as it did us?
But not nearly enough. The Broncos and the Patriots ran pretty much the same offense, with an emphasis on short possession passing balanced by an emphasis on the run. But the Pats simply did it better than Denver did, and with fewer mistakes. Stevan Ridley racked up more than 150 yards, a totally unacceptable total, and Brady proved that he can even make New England offensive coordinator/irritating weasel Josh McDaniels look good, consistently keeping the chains moving.

In contrast, the Broncos made several mistakes that proved deadly -- like Demaryius Thomas fumbling on a potential touchdown for the second game in a row and McGahee dropping a fourth down pass guaranteed to have picked up a first down and then fumbling in the red zone to squelch the team's latest comeback effort. Not that Manning was without flaw. His own fumble turned into seven key Patriots points.

One juxtaposition summed up the day. On a third and four during the third quarter, Manning handed off to Lance Ball, who got nowhere. Result: punt. During the next series, the Patriots faced a third and seventeen, but Danny Woodhead managed to pick up nineteen on a run that shouldn't have fooled anyone with a horse on his helmet but somehow did. Result: The drive continued, resulting in a soul-depleting touchdown.

Had three or four plays gone differently, the Broncos might have found a way to win -- just as was the case in losses against Atlanta and Houston. But somehow, the very people certain Tebow would work a miracle last season don't seem to have the same confidence when it comes to an infinitely more gifted hurler. And that makes sense in a strange sort of way. Unless Denver can win some of these close match-ups, as opposed to losing honorably, fans are going to continue to drift away from their television on Sundays.

The Broncos can do it. But the time to start is now.

Here are a couple of clips from the game -- a brilliant one-handed catch by Demaryius Thomas, and Manning's fumble.

More from our Sports archive: "Top ten things non-sports fans need to know about Peyton Manning."

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17 comments
Bill Black
Bill Black

Umm, no. Peyton was fine. Coach Fox ... got out-coached. Plain and simple. Normally Belichick out-coaches every coach. Mike Shanahan has been known to out-coach Belichick but it is pretty rare. If you didn't know it ... you'd think he was cheating again.

Rob Payne
Rob Payne

Damn news. Always trolling. Do you guys just hear some random person say one thing and assume everyone has that same thought? Its not like we lost to KC or something. We lost to a very well established team with probably the second best QB in the sport.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Would you please relocate the photo of McDaniels to 'Mug Shots 2010' !

His handling of the Broncos & the All-Pros he let go , should be a crime !

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

What on Earth are you talking about ???

Denver has NEVER had this kind of QB production .

Even Elway wasn't throwing CONSISTENT 300+ ,  2TD ,

games during his reign . We had a , now illegal , cut-blocking

O-Line & T . Davis rushing for 2,000 ! You never saw Eddie Mac or

Rod Smith dropping pass after pass as IS Peyton on the losing end of better than 8 TIMES PER GAME !!!

This IS his 1st year w/ the team .

He DID sit out last season .

Denver has the 2nd toughest scheduel in the NFL this season .

Injuries and SUSPENSIONS haven't been kind .

Come on ! It isn't like we are playing in a difficult division .

A 9-7 record means post-season .

The AFC is Houston's to lose this year .

As Elway accurately said , " There is no plan B ... "

With Peyton , you won't need one & he DID sign a four year deal .

Are you implying anything less than four championships is a failure ???

He want's at LEAST , one more ring . Eli has two & if you don't think that weighs on his mind ....

Patience .........

Patience .........

joefalco
joefalco

Tak it easy. Brutal schedule now getting a lot easier. 2-3 will be 12-4 by the end of the season and there will be no room on the band wagon.

Matthew Silberstein
Matthew Silberstein

No. Takes a year to gel. If we are real fans we will allow for the time to make a great team happen. Defense needs to read and play better.

Chris Quade
Chris Quade

I think Peyton is loosing faith in the broncos. Every game he comes off the field , head down and shaking in disbelief. The team needs to tighten up. Manning is on point. Offense needs to catch the ball and hold onto the ball. The defense needs defend and stop looking lost out there.

Marc Babel
Marc Babel

That's BS, Peyton has great numbers every game

Todd Elsen
Todd Elsen

In Peyton, no. In DT, yes. And McGahee should know better.

Tony Henriksen
Tony Henriksen

No!!! NE is a damn good team and we have a few hard games ahead of us we will win our division

Brian Haar
Brian Haar

Our defense maybe...but Manning was pretty close to perfect yesterday ..

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