Sports

Vance Joseph confident in Broncos' special teams coach after meltdown vs. Patriots

Vance Joseph confident in Broncos' special teams coach after meltdown vs. Patriots

Tom Brady completed 25-of-34 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns while adding one rush for no gain Sunday in the Patriots' Week 10 win over the Broncos. Brady immediately looked rejuvenated and then pushed his team to a quick touchdown and the 7-0 lead. But New England would once again hurt Denver on special teams, as Dion Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards to push the lead out to 14-3.

Even after McKenzie fumbled the first punt which gave New England momentum and the early 7-0 lead, Joseph said he left McKenzie in as the punt return guy because "That's his job".

Joseph needs to assert himself now and fire Brock Olivo in order to start fixing things on a bad special teams unit. As if that weren't enough to shine a light on all the special team goodness, Rex Burkhead would block a punt by Denver's Riley Dixon, giving the Patriots field position at the Broncos' 30.

Denver D gets an F - Who had the Patriots setting a season-high for points scored in Denver, of all places?

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The Broncos (3-6) lost their fifth straight since a 3-1 start and struggled offensively to complete drives, settling for Brandon McManus field goals three times in the first half when punching the ball into the end zone would have allowed them to go toe-to-toe with the Patriots.

"You can't beat yourself", said Joseph.

It was the first in a slew of special teams breakdowns that were costly for the Broncos. Osweiler's touchdown pass was caught by Demaryius Thomas, whose seven-yard catch trimmed the margin to 27-16.

It was clear as a November day in Denver from that first punt muffed punt the Broncos were being out-coached by New England, and that remained the constant throughout the game. In a game that probably had Bill Belichick beaming afterwards for his team's play in all three phases, it was the Patriots' special teams that ended up being the deciding factor in Denver with a handful off game-altering plays in the first half.


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