What I think Will Happen Tonight
Here is how I see some aspects of tonights game.
Run defense. The Broncos will NOT run well against our Defense.
Seymour, Wilfork, and Warren will continue to play stong 2gap run D. Bruschi and Vrabel will fill over the Gs. Denvers best running will come on quick cutbacks in the middle, but that will not get it done. When the run the stetch play, you will see BB 2gap D at its best. The DEs will control the Ts, causing the bounce to the outside. Colvin and McGinest have been FANTASTIC setting the edge. The RBs will contine East-West, and either the OLBs will make the play or drive it to the sidelines where the ILBs in pursuit and the corners/safeties coming up will clean it up.
If the Denver stretch play goes toward the sidelines, they will not run effectively in this game.
The caveat here is that Bells speed could result in beating pursuit and getting a decent run or 2, which would make the numbers look better than how effective the run game is. For example, if Bell runs 20 times for 80 yards but that is 18 for 40 plus 2 20 yard runs, that is NOT an effective run game. Additionally, run stats could be tainted by Plummer scrambles.
Therefore, I wont predict stats, but will predict the Broncos will not win this game on the ground.
Brady will make key plays that are needed to win. Im not convinced that Brady is going to light it up (he may) but I am not concerned. He will take what is there. That may mean throwing it away under pressure, that may mean lots of checkdowns for short, efficient completions and long drives, it may mean big plays. No clue what type of stats he will put up, except there will be no more than 1, and probably zero Ints. However, he will lead an offense that does one very important thing. It will score when it has to.
I see a score on special teams. This is something that BB teams have done in big games, and this year IMO the special teams have been a 'sleeping giant' with big play potential that never quite clicked. It will today.
I think that we will run the ball pretty well tonight. I think facing who we are facing----a ball control team, with a prtetty good big play potential---controlling the clock is important. Im not convinced the Bronco run D is that strong, and I think Dillon and Faulk will both be part of the plan and both be effective.
Pass defense will depend on run defense for us.
If we are struggling vs the run, and Plummer can play action and roll out in running down and distances he can have a strong day. If he must pass in pass situations, he will struggle.
I predict a strong day from the run D, therefore a strong day from the pass D.
I do not see a blowout on our part.
The Broncos are capable of coming up with stops on D that would thwart a runaway.
Their offense, while I believe our defense wins the matchup with their offense, it is capable. No doubt we can play very well and they could still pop a big play, or put together a good drive here and there.
I think we get an early lead in a low scoring game. Maybe 10-3 by halftime.
In the second half, we break it open some more, and they come back to score and keep it close, but we are never it deep dnager.
Final score Pats 24 Broncos 17 (with the lead cut to 7 late in the game, and they never have the ball with legitimately enough time to drive for a tying score)
I'm not letting this thread slip away!
I read that Denvers run D was ranked #2 (not sure if thats league or not). Against the likes of Tomlinson (2x) and Holmes/Johnson (2x), and Jordan (2x)...I wouldn't slight their run defense at all.It will be the 2001 type screens to substitute for the run game that we'll need to win this, IMO.
If the game dictates that we arte in a position to not be able to run, becuase of the score, time, etc, they will have good run D numbers. If we are able to run a lot, we will run effectively.
Good Thread... and Thanks AJ
This thread helps the time pass a little faster, while it's informative too.
Here's hoping that Andy's now-legendary forecasting acumen for the latter third of the season ... has remained sharp!
I, too, see us handling even the strong Bronco run game with comparative ease. The rest is cloudier in my crystal ball ... although the natural inference would be Stop The Run And We Win. So i'm relying on your 20/20 pre-vision.
AllAroundBrown, i'm liking your sigs! Freedom-themed sigs are always in the best of taste.
I agree with the assessment, but for slightly different reasons. From my point of view, Shanahan and BB cancel each other out. Shanahan is a good coach, had two weeks to prepare, knows how to compete against BB's schemes, knows how to exploit home field, and has a healthy team. But, both coaches will keep each other on their toes for the entire 60 minutes.
Our D matches up pretty well with their O. We have a strong run D and a mediocre pass D. They have a strong running game and a mediocre passing game. So, it's unlikely that they will score big. 17 points sounds reasonable.
We have a medicore run O and they have a pretty strong run D, but we also have a very strong passing game and their pass D is not their strong suit. So, we should be able to put up 21+ points.
ST are a big unknown. Ours are pretty good, and I agree they're due to do something big, but there are no guarantees.
The game will very much rest on Brady's shoulders. He has to have a good day, but there's no reason to expect otherwise.
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