Is it possible the Denver Broncos are Tom Brady’s achilles’ heel? Going into Sunday night’s match-up there was only one team in the NFL TB has a losing record against. It may be hard to believe, but the best QB in NFL history is 6-7 against the Broncos, 5-5 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs.
So, here it is. Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver and Super Tom still has something to prove…one more mountain to climb. The big difference over past years is ( are you ready for this?) Brady may have a mediocre/poor game and the Patriots still should win. I know, Denver has a great defense…but this year so do the Patriots.
The Patriots have allowed the fewest points-per-game (18.2) in the NFL while the Broncos are 18th in scoring (22.2). When you realize how many of the points scored against New England’s defense were in garbage time, after games were already decided, the figure is decidedly lower.
Meanwhile, the always tough Denver defense is just behind NE, allowing a measly 18.3 PPG of their own. Yes, the Patriots are 2nd in scoring (32.3), but the days of rolling up points look to be over with a depletion of skill players on offense due to injuries. Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson will be among the missing (Dobson for the year) leaving Brady with limited options in the passing game. Sure, he still has Rob Gronkowski and Brandon LaFell, but after that there are a bunch of question marks.
Home Field Advantage
Big Edge: Denver
The Patriots are just 9-19 in Denver since the two teams first met in 1960. Ah yes, I remember it well, a 13-10 Denver win. (The long-term memory is fine, it’s the short-term that’s a killer).
Here’s a scary stat (courtesy of WEEI’s Chris Price): .842 — Including the postseason, that’s the winning percentage for the Broncos in their last 19 home games against the Patriots (since 1969). Denver is 16-3 in those games.
Yeah, I know. Different year, different players…but still, it has to be on Tom Brady’s mind. He absolutely hates to lose with a passion that is unequaled. I know everyone hates to lose, but he takes it to a new level. Just a few weeks back he was pounding the ground in anguish when he was sacked and felt it was his fault…and the Patriots won that game easily!
Why The Patriots Should Win
Despite the advantages the Broncos have, as listed above, the Patriots are still favored, although by a very slim margin…and the reasons are:
- Tom Brady vs Brock Osweiler (No Brainer)
Brady showed his emotion repeatedly in last weeks win against the Bills, and his teammates would rather not face his wrath two weeks in a row.
“I was pretty agitated all night,” Brady told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Show, via Boston.com. “For three hours and 20 minutes, I was pretty agitated.”
- More action from James White, who was clutch despite limited touches, in last week’s win over Buffalo. His snap count should increase with a reduction in touches by LeGarrette Blount.
- The offensive line has to be better (couldn’t be any worse) as the walking wounded continue to return and the revolving door slows down. The Patriots have used 25 offensive line combinations this season, most in the NFL (Mike Reiss)
- Bill Belichick vs Gary Kubiack (Another No Brainer)
- Rob Gronkowski is due to have a breakout game. Denver now has Vernon Davis, who had his best game of the year last week, and Gronk won’t take kindly to being outplayed on national TV
Both teams are looking forward to this one. Here are a few pre-game quotes from the Bronco’s camp:
“It will be fun—Sunday Night Football, undefeated team coming in. It will be a lot of fun. It’s great playing against [Patriots QB] Tom [Brady], though. He’s a great competitor.”
– Broncos CB Aqib Talib
They’re really physical. Their defensive line—they’ve been causing a lot of chaos for quarterbacks. They’ve been getting to the quarterbacks. I think [Patriots DE] Chandler Jones is over 10 sacks at this point in the year. I think they just play extremely hard. They know their scheme inside and out and they execute their scheme.”
– Broncos QB Brock Osweiler
Patriots squeak out a tough win and go to 11-0
Patriots 21 Broncos 17
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