It’s game day!
The Patriots will face the Broncos and it’s the toughest road game of the year for the Patriots, outside the Giants game.
The Broncos will probably use the Bills formula from Monday night, drop 8 and only rush four, and mix in their blitzes with Miller here and there to confuse Brady. The Broncos defense loves to pressure and sack Quarterbacks and that will remain their number one focus tonight as they don’t have a scary run game to worry about.
To counter that, the Patriots will look to quick passes and hope their guys get open. Aaron Dobson is on the IR, ending his season and Danny Amendola will not play tonight, making the task tougher for the Patriots offense. The Pats are rumored to start Gronk at WR which I think is genius because matching up Gronk against a corner should result in a big game for Rob Gronkowski. Brady still has plenty of weapons in Gronk, Chandler, LaFell, Harper, and James White and he will make use of them if he has time. That’s what it comes down to, not who he will throw to but if he has time to throw the ball to the wide outs and tight ends. Tonight, the Patriots need Gronk and LaFell to really step up and Harper and White to step up and help out because those two can, and if they do it’ll be a good night for the Patriots. And, if Chandler wants a breakout game, tonight would be the ideal night to have it. But, like I said, Brady will do great if he has time, so the Pats number one focus on offense will be protecting Tom Brady. Every play they will know where Von Miller is, so they will look to make his impact limited and they will use quick passes to help keep Brady protected. The quick passes will include a lot of plays to James White and Brandon LaFell on screens. Their offense will be dink and dunk tonight as well. That’s how the Pats will counter the pass rush of the Broncos. They won’t run too much, again this is a very good run defense.
The Broncos offense will try to run a lot because they have a backup QB in and because their offense hasn’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard this season, so they will run and try to control the time of possession and keep Brady off the field. When they do throw their main targets will be Thomas and the two tight ends, Daniels and Davis. I can imagine they will try run, run, throw short and move the chains or run, throw short, and throw to the tight ends and move the chains. Keeping Brady off the field while wasting away the clock is their number one goal.
The Patriots defense number one focus will be taking away any run game by Denver, forcing the game to the air and forcing Brock Osweiler to beat them. The Patriots run defense has been so stout, it is now the number 2 run defense in the NFL, so I think they will fare well on the ground, even without Collins. The Patriots pass defense will be a very close 2nd and their number one goal will be to take away Thomas, the number one target for Denver. Malcolm Butler for the third straight time will have the toughest task of the game, stopping Thomas. He will be on a cape all by himself with some safety help because they do not want Thomas beating them deep. Logan Ryan will get Sanders, a wonderful matchup. Ryan matches Sanders height and speed, so he will be on an island with the WR. He may get the safety help. The Pats will probably use Chung on Latimer, a big matchup to watch no matter who actually draws him. He’s dangerous, an increasingly favorite target of Osweiler and a really big guy, so if Chung is the guy he better bring his A game. Tavon Wilson will draw Owen Daniels, the 2nd most important matchup of the game, stopping the number one tight on that offense. This is all guess work, but these are the guys the Pats passing defense will look to stop, number one being Thomas and number two being Daniels. The Pats probably believe if they take those two away, they will fare well on defense. If the Pats take away Thomas and Daniels and not let any surprise number three guy hurt them, and they get off on third downs, the defense will do just fine.