The New England Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos Sunday Night in an overtime thriller for the ages.
The Patriots had a horrible first quarter to the game and committed 3 straight turnovers on offense – all fumbles, and fell behind 17 – 0. The Broncos would go to the half leading 24 – 0 over New England.
In the second half, the Broncos would commit turnovers and New England would mount a big time comeback. By the start of the 4th New England had the improbable lead over Denver. The game would go to overtime though tied 31-31 where both teams would trade punts for the next 11 minutes. Tony Carter of the Broncos would have a New England punt go off his leg and recovered by the Pats, giving New England the field goal with 2 minutes left and the win 34 – 31.
Tom Brady and the Pats came back down 24-0, giving the franchise’s largest comeback victory ever.
The biggest thing is that the New England Patriots came back against one of the best Quarterbacks to play the game in Peyton Manning.
The victory was a very impressive one but with Tom Brady as your QB, it shouldn’t surprise us. Brady, like Manning, is one of the best to ever do it, maybe the best. He can score quickly and in the 2nd half he lead his team back for a huge win.
There are a lot of things to take away from a game like that but I will settle with explaining the 3 things I most took away from the win.
1. The Patriots secondary is for real
– The Patriots secondary was incredible Sunday Night. There were many factors in the game but the secondary for New England did make an impact. The great thing is the entire Pats secondary wasn’t 100% either. Rookie Duron Harmon filled in for Steven Gregory and did good, Dennard played a few times but had to sit for over majority of the game, and the secondary still made big plays.
The wind was a big factor in this game. Tom Brady did a lot better in the wind than Peyton Manning, and I’m sure it affected the Denver offense a lot but not enough to be the ONLY reason they managed one second half touchdown. Lets give the Pats secondary some credit too.
Aqib Talib was back in good form Sunday night against Demaryius Thomas. Talib isn’t 100% but even his 80% is better than most. He shut down Thomas for most of the game. Thomas would beat Talib late in the 4th with a great touchdown pass and catch but Talib held him down for most of the game. A big reason why Denver struggled because of the great coverage provided by the Pats.
Arrington did great against Wes Welker, and used his speed to stay with him, limiting his impact in the game. Ryan, the rookie, did great against Eric Decker and pretty much shut him out of the game completely, and got an interception off of Manning.
Thomas, Decker, and Welker combined for 9 catches, 75 yards, and 1 touchdown. That my friends, is impressive.
They also held Peyton Manning to just 150 yards passing, his lowest since becoming Denver’s QB.
The Patriots gave up over 200 yards rushing to Moreno but they were willing to give Denver running lanes rather than passing lanes. They didn’t want to do that badly against the run, but their best run stoppers were on the sideline because they did not factor into this game against a pass heavy team. Run defense needs to get better but don’t be overly concern right now. Enjoy the secondary of New England and how they looked against the best offense in the NFL.
2. This team is tough
– New England knows how to stay in games, I’ll give them that. No matter what has happen this season and no matter how ugly things have looked either on the offensive or defensive side of the ball they have managed to give themselves a chance at the end of games. They gave themselves a chance to beat Cincinnati, New Orleans, Jets, Dolphins, Panthers, and Broncos at the end. Sometimes you win them and sometimes you lose them, and sometimes weird things happen like against the Jets and Panthers and you feel a bit robbed. But at the end of the day, New England gave themselves a chance to win each game even though the offense or defense looked horrible.
They keep finding ways to claw back into games or stay in them. The big difference this year is this team doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit and they are tough. Mentally they don’t break in a game and they overcome a lot of odds, giving their team a chance every Sunday.
New England seems to find the win at home and get the losses on the road but at the end of the day, you gotta give yourself a shot, and New England does. They don’t quit out there and they keep fighting. This team is hungry.
3. The slot position is covered
– The Patriots have filled the slot receiver spot quiet well this year.
The Patriots have 2 very capable slot receivers in Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Last year they had just one but this year, they have two. What I like about it is they can ride the hot hand through the game. Amendola was hot against the Steelers and they rode him for plays, and against Denver Sunday, Edelman was hot and they rode him.
Edelman and Amendola can both be a problem at the same time or they can pick up the slack for the other. They both can stretch the field more than Welker could. I mean, Edelman and Amendola both are faster than Welker and can stretch the field more than he could and that is their biggest strength over Welker.
But, there were questions all offseason could Amendola fill Welker’s shoes, well on his own he hasn’t, but with Edelman with him, he has. They are very good wide receivers for the Patriots.
I think finally New England showed Sunday for anyone who was still doubting their talent at the slot that they have filled that position.