Three drives have resulted in three touchdowns so far in Denver, with the Broncos needing just four plays against the sieve-like New England defense to once again put points on the board and take the lead back, 13-7.
Already the defense has given up more rushing yards in a quarter than any other New England team during the Bill Belichick era. While 22 yards came from a short pass that turned long thanks to the run after the catch by Demaryius Thomas, it was a pair of runs by Willis McGahee and Lance Ball that led to 29 and 32 yards respectively, with the latter dash winding up in the end zone. All told, the drive took just four plays and 2:23 off the clock--beating Tom Brady's earlier drive by one play and two seconds.
The New England defense had seemed to be making progress in the weeks leading up to the Indianapolis game. But the near-collapse in the fourth quarter seems to have signaled a downturn in the unit's effectiveness. First there was Rex Grossman and the Washington Redskins staying close in the shootout last week, and now they are proving completely incapable of stopping a Denver team which has averaged just 20 points per game since Tim Tebow took over under center.