Manning's teammates drop the ball in loss to Patriots

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Manning's teammates drop the ball in loss to Patriots

FOXBORO There have been days in this zip code where Peyton Manning rode on a bus down Route 1 and knew hed contributed mightily to a loss.

Sunday was not one of those days.

Manning was outstanding against the Patriots on Sunday. But gaffes by two of his prime offensive weapons played a big part in taking the sizzle out of the later Brady-Manning Bowl.

A fumble by wideout Demaryius Thomas on Denvers first drive absolutely cost the Broncos points. Later, with the Broncos battling to come back, Willis McGahee had a pair of miscues a dropped fourth-down pass and a fumble at the Patriots 14.

Those plays waylaid a 31 for 44, 345-yard performance by Manning in which he expertly threw short and let his receivers do the work until he found moments to exploit the Patriots shaky cornerbacks.

Nobody wants to lose football games, said Manning. To lose to the teams that you think even though theyre good teams, but if you think if this happened or if that happened you have a good chance to win. There are a lot of what ifs. The key is that we learn from them and hopefully we can respond next week with the win and like I said, learn from some of the mistakes that are going on and win some of these games at another point in the season.

The finger of blame seemed to mostly be pointed at the Denver defense for allowing the Patriots to run over and pass under it. But the miscues especially Thomas were really the culprits in this one.

Manning looked dumbfounded after Thomas fumble, putting his hands to his helmet in the universal sign for an upset Manning.

Asked what he did to buck up Thomas and McGahee, Manning said, I stood with them. I told Willis after the fumble and after the fourth down when we had it and told Demaryius after that, that Im with them. Were going to need those guys all season. Those guys have made key plays in our two wins and they made some big plays tonight, so, hey, nobody wants to have a play go against them or have a negative play its part of football. So, as a teammate and as a quarterback Im with them. You dont see me not throwing to Demaryius or not calling Willis number. Theyre out there and theyre going to get the ball, and theyre going to make more plays than theyre going to miss I can assure you of that and against good football teams obviously you hope you make more.

Who knows how long Manning will stick in Denver. But there are pieces in place on both sides of the ball right now that are good enough to allow this team to play through January.

Manning seems to know that. He also realizes that starting 2-3 is digging a hole the team will rue later.

Youd like to win games while you are building on some things and improving, said Manning. Weve won two and weve lost three. I know theyve been great teams that weve lost to which still doesn't make it any easier its disappointing. I think the key is learning from them and building on it and I believe we will. Coach Fox knows how to right the ship and it starts during the week with guys practicing better and being accountable and I believe that we will do that and have a chance to start winning some of these close games.

Patriots place Tre' Jackson on reserve/PUP list

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Patriots place Tre' Jackson on reserve/PUP list

The Patriots announced three roster moves on Monday night. Two resulted in players parting ways with the team. The other opened a roster spot without a departure. 

In addition to releasing both defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and center Bryan Stork, the Patriots also placed guard Tre' Jackson on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

Jackson began training camp on PUP, and he has not practiced with the team since camp kicked off. Now that he is on the reserve/PUP, the second-year player out of Florida State will be forced to miss the first six weeks of the regular season, but he will not count against the active roster during that period. 

Jackson, a fourth-round pick last year, played through knee issues at times as a rookie, seeing action in 13 games and starting in nine. He has been spotted on the practice fields this summer, but he has been limited to warm-ups and conditioning work. 

In his absence, the Patriots still have depth at guard, which may have had something to do with the team's willingness to make Jackson unavailable for almost the first half of the season. Rookie Joe Thuney looks like he will be the starter at left guard, while Josh Kline could be the option at right guard to start the season. Jonathan Cooper and Shaq Mason are dealing with injuries at the moment, but they both returned to the practice field on Monday, and they also have a shot at the right guard job. Rookie sixth-rounder Ted Karras could also factor in as a reserve at either guard or center if he makes the club. 

The Patriots currently have 80 players on the active roster and need to reduce that number to 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.