Patriots buck Broncos, 41-7

Published 12:33 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The New England Patriots finally dominated the way they did when Tom Brady was playing.

Matt Cassel threw three touchdown passes in his best game since taking over for the injured quarterback, Sammy Morris rushed for 138 yards and New England routed the Denver Broncos 41-7 Monday night.

Randy Moss caught two touchdown passes, doubling his total for the season but far short of his NFL record of 23 last season.

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New England (4-2) forced five turnovers and finished with 257 yards rushing.

For one night, at least, the post-Brady blues were shoved aside by a complete performance.

New England led 20-0 at halftime and 34-0 before Jay Cutler connected with former Patriots tight end Daniel Graham for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 13:21 left in the game.

Then rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished the scoring with his first touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Cassel was sacked six times and the Patriots lost Morris and safety Rodney Harrison to knee injuries. But they still posted an easy victory over Denver (4-3), which had won five of its last six games at New England.

The Broncos lost for the third time in four games and brothers Boss and Champ Bailey went down with injuries in the first half. Linebacker Boss Bailey hurt his knee and cornerback Champ Bailey injured his groin.

Cutler missed the final series of the half with a finger injury but returned for Denver’s first possession of the third quarter. He appeared to be hurt on the first play after the opening kickoff when he hit his throwing hand on the helmet of tackle Vince Wilfork on a pass that sailed wide.