The biggest matchup of the season is finally a few days away, however, it will be a little different than everyone expected. It isn’t going to be Brady Vs Manning, instead Manning is out with an injury so Brock Osweiler will step in to play.
It won’t be Brady Vs Manning and that stinks, but it will be interesting anyways because now the focus will be Brady Vs the number one defense in the NFL. This game is huge, if Brady beats the number one defense on the road it will pretty much seal his MVP and the Patriots chances of becoming the number one seed overall, and it will make the undefeated season very possible. So, interesting game, regardless if Manning indeed doesn’t play.
To move on to 11-0, here are the matchups to watch and the matchups the Pats must win.
1. OL Marcus Cannon Vs LB Von Miller
I could actually say Cannon and Vollmer Vs Miller because he will likely go against both at some point during the game. He rushes the QB from any and everywhere on the defense and he’s the number one guy the Patriots have to stop. Ware would be the number one guy, but he may miss the game, so for now, Miller is number one in the guy the Pats must block. He has six sacks on the season and the successful rate him and Denver blitz, it could mean trouble for the troubled OL of the Patriots. I don’t know what happen to the OL against Buffalo but they didn’t show up and that is something they better do on Sunday, especially Cannon, who had his worst game of the season three nights ago. If Cannon and/or Vollmer can handle Miller, Brady will feel a lot better throwing passes.
2. CB Malcolm Butler Vs WR Demaryius Thomas
Osweiler targeted Thomas the most in Sunday’s win over the Bears, throwing his way 8 times. Thomas made 3 catches for 59 yards and 1 touchdown. Osweiler is young and he will depend on the team’s best target the most and the tight ends, so number one thing the Pats can do is contain Thomas and put him on Cape Butler all game long. If Butler plays like he has in the last two weeks he can do that, but this guy is very tall and fast, so this will be his toughest challenge since Eric Decker. Like Decker, he’s very tall at 6’3 and like Beckham he’s very fast. Butler had trouble with Decker which is why I’m a little worried about him going against another big target. I think he can handle Thomas, but this is the guy who can give him trouble, so big day for Butler and if he shuts down Thomas, the defense will be fine.
3. SS Patrick Chung Vs TE Veron Davis
Davis was the 2nd most targeted player behind Thomas, and Daniels was the 3rd, meaning like all young Quarterbacks, the number one WR and the tight ends are their go to guy. The defense may put Chung on Davis, both match up speed wise and height wise very well, so this will be an interesting one to watch. Chung has been excellent in coverage and I expect no different when he takes on Davis. Taking away Osweiler’s number one and two options should make life diffcuilt and allow the pass rush to get to the QB. They do this, they will win the game.