The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos have been on opposite ends of the spectrum for years. The Patriots are one of the most best teams in the past few years while the Broncos have struggled ever since the glory days of Coach Shanahan. Despite this, the two teams will face off on Saturday night to see who goes to the AFC Championship game.
The name of the game for the Patriots on offense is versatility. Players like Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker can line up all over the field and give the Patriots opportunities to create mismatches. Both tight ends (Gronkowski and Hernandez) had monster games last time these two teams met because Denver’s linebackers couldn’t match up with them 1 on 1. New England needs to spread out the field and open up the passing game. Defensively, New England needs to keep everything in front of them. I’m still baffled as to how Pittsburgh gave up some much through the air, but New England would be wise to learn from their misfortune. The also need to get pressure on Tebow. A lot of his completions are when he has plenty of time to read defenses and make proper throws. Take
For the Broncos, everyone wants to talk non-stop about Tim Tebow, but to me the running game as a whole is most important. The Broncos love to do bootlegs, roll-outs, and play action passes which are possible due to the success rate of the running game. McGahee, Ball, and Tebow need to be able to grind it out on the ground to have success. The more creative the running plays the better too. On defense, the Broncos need to find a way to get to Tom Brady. They would be foolish to think they can line up and cover all of New England’s receiving threats so they need to make sure they constantly pressure Brady into quick throws. Denver shouldn’t have a problem with New England’s running attack.
As much as everyone wants Tim Tebow’s awesome playoff run continue, the Patriots are too experienced and too talented to lose. They know what it takes to win and know what to expect. It would take some serious mistakes on New England’s part for this to be close. That, and Tebow is playing on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.
New England Patriots 34 – Denver Broncos 20