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Quick-hit thoughts after 3rd quarter

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quick-hit thoughts after the third quarter of the Patriots’ divisional-round playoff game against the Broncos (New England leads 42-10):

1. The big question now is when Bill Belichick might put Brian Hoyer into the game at quarterback. This is a rout.

2. Tight end Aaron Hernandez’s touchdown catch came out of the heavy 1 WR/3 TE package, with offensive lineman Nate Solder as an eligible receiver. That moved rookie Marcus Cannon into the lineup at right tackle.

3. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley lost a fumble. The miscue won’t hurt the Patriots in this game, but it could affect the confidence the coaching staff has in him going forward.

4. Safety Patrick Chung picked up an unnecessary roughness penalty for a late hit on Willis McGahee. That penalty reflected how the Patriots slipped up a bit in the quarter.

5. Overall, excellent pass rush from the Patriots tonight.