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Bron­cos de­fen­sive end Derek Wolfe left Sun­day’s game in the sec­ond quar­ter with a neck in­jury and did not re­turn. It’s the sec­ond time this sea­son Wolfe has suf­fered a neck in­jury. The first was in the opener against Carolina and did not cause him to miss any games.

Af­ter the game, Wolfe said Sun­day’s in­jury was sim­i­lar but more painful. He com­pared it to a re­ally bad stinger. The pain orig­i­nated in his shoul­der and led to his neck.

Wolfe said his neck/shoul­der was in­flamed and it kept get­ting worse every time he tried to re­turn. He said it’s an an­noy­ing re­cur­rence, but he did not plan on miss­ing any time. He will be re-eval­u­ated Monday.

Bron­cos tight end Vir­gil Green took a hard hit af­ter a first-quar­ter re­cep­tion be­fore leav­ing the game with a con­cus­sion.

Line­backer Todd Davis played most of the game de­spite an oblique in­jury that forced him to sit out prac­tice un­til Fri­day. Davis and line­backer Corey Nelson played one of their best games against the Pa­tri­ots’ shifty run­ning backs and re­ceivers.

“It’s play­off foot­ball,” Davis said. “I’ve got to be out there.”

WRs hit 1K.

De­mary­ius Thomas had 91 yards re­ceiv­ing on seven re­cep­tions and Em­manuel San­ders added 48 yards on three catches, push­ing both over the 1,000-yard mark for the third con­sec­u­tive sea­son. Rod Smith and Ed McCaf­frey (1998-2000) had been the only tandem in team his­tory to have three con­sec­u­tive 1,000-yard sea­sons.

No TO.

Coach Gary Ku­biak ex­plained his rea­son­ing for not us­ing a time­out late in the first half when New Eng­land was punt­ing from its 48 with just over a minute left: “We were con­cerned that we might be backed up be­cause of where they were. They had two time­outs and we were get­ting the ball com­ing out of the sec­ond half. We were mov­ing the ball ex­tremely well and we were in a one-pos­ses­sion game. We def­i­nitely didn’t want to give it back to them. That was the thought process.”

Sur­prise moves.

Among the sur­prises on the Bron­cos’ in­ac­tive list vs. New Eng­land were wide re­ceiver/punt re­turner Kalif Ray­mond and of­fen­sive line­man Ty Sam­brailo. Guard Billy Turner was ac­tive for the first time in his ca­reer as a Bronco.

Coloradan up front.

The game was a home­com­ing for Pa­tri­ots left of­fen­sive tackle Nate Solder, from Buena Vista and the Univer­sity of Colorado. He worked most of the af­ter­noon against DeMar­cus Ware.

“The de­fense played good, and the spe­cial teams played good,” Solder said. “We were able to con­vert on some third downs and hold on to the ball. I thought those were some of the big­gest plays of the game.”


Den­ver kicker Bran­don McManus reached 300 ca­reer points in his 45th game, the sixth-fastest man to reach that mark in team his­tory. Ja­son Elam is first, reach­ing the mile­stone in 39 games. … The Bron­cos wore their blue al­ter­nate jer­seys with white pants, an ensem­ble that pre­vi­ously helped them to wins over the Tex­ans this sea­son and the Pack­ers last sea­son. … Bron­cos out­side line­backer Von Miller wore cus­tom fur cleats made by Adi­das for pregame warm-ups.

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