The Patriots will play the Broncos Sunday night on prime time for their annual meeting that began when Peyton Manning signed with the team. Peyton, however, won’t be playing, but the backup QB Brock Osweiler will step in for the 2nd straight week.
The Patriots are only a three point favorite over the Denver Broncos, who boast the best defense in the NFL, while the Pats 2nd rank offense is struggling behind a shaky and unhealthy line, so how do the Pats win? Well, the success will depend on these three keys and if they can win the area.
1. Protecting Tom Brady: Of course, this is number one when the team is about to play a very pass rush happy team with the number one rank defense. The Broncos are so good because they can rush the passer and play coverage as good as anyone in the NFL. They will be without Ware, but Von Miller will still be out there and countless other good pass rushers, so the Patriots can’t slack off just because Ware won’t be there. The OL and even Tom Brady was confused by the Bills blitzes Monday, and the line just did a horrible job of protecting Tom Brady. It wasn’t pretty, and if they play that bad again, the Pats won’t be undefeated. Brady will need their help more than every Sunday, especially if Amendola is out because he needs time to find open guys. They have to help him, and if they do, the Pats will score points, easier anyways.
2. Stopping the Air Attack: The Broncos are a good passing team, or at least, that is their number one go to weapon. Brock loves to throw to Thomas and both tight ends, Daniels and Davis, so stopping the offense begins with these three. If Butler, Chung, Wilson, or a linebacker can take away the two tight ends and Thomas, Osweiler will have a very rough night. The first thing though is taking away Thomas. They have to make the youngster go through his reads and not have the first read open.
3. Getting Open: The Pats wide outs have to do a much better job against a much better secondary this weekend of getting open. LaFell needs to step up, Chris Harper, Gronk, and Chandler and really every single one minus Amendola who brought it on Monday Night. They need to find ways to break away for Brady because he won’t have time to wait on them. Quick passes only work if the wide outs are getting open. Also, James White needs to be ready because they may use their quick passes in his direction so he better find the opening, and catch everything. This will help Brady out and if the guys are open everything will okay on the offensive side of the ball.