Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno, who limped off the field in overtime Sunday night, appeared in the Denver locker room on crutches and wearing a boot on his right ankle after the game. The former first-round draft pick finished the game with 224 rushing yards, a career high.

"My line just did a great job of blocking for me,"Moreno said. "We lost, that's what it's all about. It's getting the 'W.' "

The muffed punt. Sunday's game ended largely because of a muffed punt by cornerback Tony Carter, which New England's Nate Ebner recovered at the Broncos' 13-yard line.

"It's one of those freakish things ... the ball took a bad bounce," Carter said of the play.

Wes Welker, who was also deep on the punt, said the issue also arose from a miscommunication.

"I've got to get to him earlier, and tell him, and get those guys out of the way if I'm not going to make the catch," Welker said. "I was a little bit in-between, and you can't be that way."

Miller back in star role. Von Miller the linebacker returned to the field after Game 6.

Von Miller the dominant defensive player was back Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

Suspended by the NFL from the season's first six games, and held to two sacks through his first four games, Miller was a big-play force that gave the Broncos a 14-0 lead over the New England Patriots.

First, Miller picked up a fumble forced by Wesley Woodyard and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. Denver had a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

That took care of the Patriots' first possession. The running back who fumbled, Stevan Ridley, was benched.

A little more than a minute later, Miller rushed from Tom Brady's blindside and whacked the quarterback's arm as he cocked to throw. Fumble. Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton picked it up, rumbled ahead, and Denver's offense had the ball at the Patriots' 10-yard line.

Two runs by Knowshon Moreno, and the Broncos had a 14-0 lead.

Miller sacked Brady again during the second quarter, beating former Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder in the process.

Miller was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft. He had 30 sacks through his first two seasons. Besides his touchdown return and sack-fumble, Miller tackled Brandon Bolden for a 3-yard loss in the second quarter.