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4 winners and 3 losers from Patriots’ 41-16 win over Broncos

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The Patriots took this one pretty easily, thanks to the Broncos’ mistakes.

The Broncos set the tone for their loss to the Patriots early in the first quarter. Denver muffed a punt on what would have been then team’s first possession of the game. It was all downhill from there.

Brock Osweiler wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t great, either. The offensive line kept Osweiler upright, and he finished with 221 yards, one touchdown, and one pick. But the Broncos as a whole were so bad that fans in the stadium booed them as they left the field at the half.

You can understand fans’ frustration. The 41-16 drubbing the Broncos took from New England was the team’s fifth consecutive loss.

Denver made mistake after mistake, and Tom Brady and the Patriots have a tendency to make teams pay for that. That’s exactly what they did against the Broncos.

Loser: Broncos special teams

Denver set the tone with a muffed punt on what would have been the Broncos’ first possession of the game. Brady needed exactly two plays and 46 seconds to get the ball to Rex Burkhead for a 14-yard score.

The Broncos also allowed a 103-yard return TD to Dion Lewis. They even gave him a little push in the right direction.

A blocked Broncos punt completed a special teams trifecta of sadness.

Vance Joseph said it was one of the main problems for his squad. He was correct.

Winner: Dion Lewis balled out

Lewis’ 103-yard touchdown return was gorgeous. He somehow managed to stay in bounds as he ran along the sideline. But that wasn’t his only big play of the day.

He got into the end zone on a 9-yard run, and the Broncos helped him again by having just 10 men on the field. But he also won with his touchdown celebration.

Loser: This poor guy who got hit with a football by Brock Osweiler

Ouch. That does not look fun.

Winner: Dwayne Allen made the most of his first catch this season

Allen went into Sunday’s game without a single catch. Brady targeted Allen twice all night. Allen caught one of those in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.

Winner: Emmanuel Sanders had himself a dang day

Sanders finished with 137 yards, roasting the embattled Patriots secondary all evening.

Loser: Broncos having too many or too few men on the field

First the Broncos allowed a 9-yard touchdown to Dion Lewis when they had just 10 men on the field.

Then the Broncos had 12 men on the field for a Patriots punt. It gave New England a first down and another shot to get in the end zone, which they did.

At least the Broncos averaged 11 men on the field for each play.

Winner: Martellus Bennett in his first game back in New England

Bennett was listed as questionable with the shoulder injury that led to the Packers cutting him. He was active for the game against the Broncos. Brady targeted Bennett three times, and Bennett caught all three for 38 yards. Not a bad outing for a guy who is not completely healthy.