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Initial Thoughts – The Denver Week edition.

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Just some random thoughts and reactions to some of the stuff I've been reading and hearing.

    1.I take personal offense to Peyton Manning comparing what their team has had to overcome this season, and what the Pats have had to overcome, AND trying to create the impression that they are the SAME. Bull *****. I have never been a rabid Peyton hater in the past. I admired his accomplishments and talents, even if I wanted him to lose every game they played against us.

    However recently I can't stand listening to him. That disingenuous, patronizing, self aggrandizing, self serving (and I don't give a damned if that was redundant) rat bastard, has turned me into a complete hater. What an F'ing phony.

    2.Of course ESPN's coverage will all be slanted in the Bronco's and their golden boy's favor for the next 6 days, and while that pisses me off no end, it might not be a bad thing over all. I think the underdog role suits our team and our NE mentality It will also make watching shots of the Manning face at the end of the game, even more satisfying. Plus as we all know the one thing ESPN loves more than building up someone, its tearing them down. :eek:

    3.Get used to it. No one will think the Pats can win this game on Sunday....And its for good reason. Don't be shocked. On paper this is as bad a match up as we could see. On one hand, Manning will have every one of his skill people fully ready to go. Welker, Decker, Dthomas, Jthomas, Ball and the guy who gashed them for over 200 rushing yds, KMoreno. In fact the ONLY missing player on the Denver offense is T Ryan Clady. OMG – Peyton, the horror and devastation of your offense is historic and you should canonized (again) for overcoming such huge adversity :rolleyes: times infinity.

    While I am being wildly sarcastic here, the fact remains that the Bronco offense just as wildly talented and balanced and they will be going against a defense that is likely to start 4 rookies. And while the Pats do have a good running attack, their passing options have all be been eliminated. Gronk, Hernandez, Dobson, Thompkins, Boyce are all gone, leaving Denver's depleted secondary with only having to deal with 2 slot receivers and Vareen out of the backfield,.

    That's it man. There is NO ONE else on the roster that can threaten the weakest part of the Denver D. No deep threat. No TE threat. No big physical threat in the red zone. No back shoulder throws to worry about. So while the Pats secondary has to choose their poison among 5 options of which 3 are elite, Denver can easily double the ONLY 2 serious WR's the Pats will likely have available. One of whom will need groin surgery after the season. So who cares if Brady drops back. Who is he going to throw to and how are they going to get open???

    Now Denver can really afford to overplay the run, That's a run D that already ranked 7th during the regular season. OTOH, the Pats will face a good running attack plus D Thomas, Decker, Welker, J Thomas, and Mereno out of the backfield....and oh yeah, the MVP, GOAT, patron saint of ESPN, Peyton Manning. :eek: If this were any other team with the same mismatches you would be seeing a double digit number coming out of Las Vegas. Only the Pats winning history and the Bellichick/Brady mystique has kept it to around 7.

    4.OK I admit that was pretty bleak, but that's what the rest of the country and the media are looking at. Its also what we are looking at. So the one thing we shouldn't worry or rail about this week is the negativity the Pats are going to receive. Based on what you see on paper, anyone would be hard pressed to see the Pats going to Denver, where they have a bad history to begin with, and pull out a win against St. Peyton. Its time to bring out your inner Rodney Harrison and EMBRACE the disrespect. Love the underdog role, don't fight it.

    5.But as unlikely as it seems, it isn't as bad as the match ups for the 2001 Superbowl, so we all know that it CAN happen. The next phase of this post will be to try and figure out how to do it. That's what BB is doing right now. Trying to figure out how he can slow down that Denver offense and create enough offense of his own, so that midway into the 4th quarter this game will still be in doubt. Lets begin.
  2. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    6-OFFENSE -

    WR – Well the fact is when you think about it, Edelman and Amendola are every bit as good as Patten and Brown were in 2001, and Branch and Givens in 2003. Here's the problem. Patten. Brown, Branch, and Givens all were successful partially because they played in an era where zone defenses were predominant. If the Bronco's play mostly zone D on Sunday, I fully expect those 2 to have good games. If they play a tight man with someone over the top, then not so much.

    Neither Edelman or Amendola have the physical nature to win balls when they are covered, like a A Boldin, or Gronk. These guys have to create separation. The problem the Pats have is that these 2 guys have essentially been the Pats pass offense the last month. So unless they create some other threats, they can easily be doubled and taken out of the game.

    6. OK I'm sinking into despair again so lets get back to how they will succeed. First and foremost they will have to throw the ball to the TE's. Once we figure out how the Broncos are doubling the WR's, TE's patterns will emerge that will open up things even for out plodding TE's. Outs, delays, hooks, even the occasional seam pass, will all become opportunities. It won't take too many completions for the double to come off of at least one of the main guys (I'm thinking around 4)

    7. One of the keys for our success this game is I'm expecting Brady to have a lot of time to throw the ball. There are no Mathis or Miller-like threats on this Denver team, so I think that the Pats actually will have an advantage here. So Denver will be ripe for Brady to simply find the open man, even if no one has heard about him before. This is why McDaniel gets all those HC'ing interviews, and Brady's undying love. He needs to come up with some complex patterns that will get our guys open as long as Brady has time, and I don't see this Denver DL getting to him anytime soon without coming with a blitz. And if they do that, they will open up areas of the field for a QB who eats up blitzes.

    8. The OL - I think this is another area where we have a quiet advantage. It seems like the OL/TE's are coming together at just the right time. I don't think they care if Denver loads up the box against the run. Keep in mind that over the course of the season the Bronco's had the 7th best run D in the league, averaging about 33 yds less per game than the Pats at 29. Also they have allowed a playoff low of 65 rushing yards against another team that had prided itself on its run game in SD

    Why will the Pats do better. First because our OL is better. Second because while Ryan Matthews was hampered by a serious high ankle sprain, ALL of our RB's are rested and in good shape. Now I don't expect a 200 yd rushing game, I do expect to see over 130 or more, and that kind of production is enough to open up the play action passing game, and move the chains.

    Finally one of the reasons that makes me hopeful for this week is that Jack Del Rio is the DC for the Broncos. First there is his history with the Jags, where the Pats lit up his defenses on a regular basis. 2nd he really does have some problems with his 2ndary. Quentin Jammer and Champ Bailey have had great careers, but both are shadows of their former greatness, and the loss of their best CB will put those 2 in the spotlight. Already a very conservative DC, this could very well force Del Rio back to his own comfort zone, and cause him to play a lot of zones to protect those 2 guys. If it happens, that really helps the Pats by getting more free releases for DA and Edelman, and allow them both to utilize their quickness in getting open.

    Now it could be that Del Rio might look back at his Jags experience and decide that he has to go in a different direction. He also might have learned something from a passing offense that put up 31 points on him in just one half. At any Rate its something to look for early in the game. Is Del Rio playing more zone than man. If its the former than I expect the Passing game to improve.

    To win this game the offense is going to have produce in excess of 400 yds and 28 points. To do that the passing offense is going to HAVE to improve its showings of the the last 3 games.

    DEFENSE -

    9. Strange as it seems I'm actually more comfortable about the defense than the offense. Currently we have the personell that matches up well, even against the vaunted Bronco offense, who's weakness begins at the QB position. Yes you heard that right. I'll explain as I go on.

    DL/Run Defense – We have a better pass rush, especially now that we finally have a QB who isn't going to be a scramble threat. Like Brady he's going to be exactly where you expect him to be, and is less elusive than Brady. I think we will get enough of a rush from the front 4 to force Manning to want to get the ball off quickly and that will play into our hands.

    The addition of Silaga has improved the DT rotation immensely, and RB rushes have improved greatly over the last month of the season. Its been the QB rushes that have hurt us more, and even that improved against the Colts. Also Hightower's game against the run has vastly improved as he now is more focused in his responsibilities. Now when he is forced into coverage, he is covering FB's and not scat backs and TE's. Now I don't expect us to shut down the Colts, but I do expect a vast improvement over the over 220yd gashing we saw earlier in the year. Anything under 110 yds is a win for us, IMHO.

    Its in the secondary that we will excel. D Thomas is a top 5 WR, but he's also a perfect physical match for A Talib. He's had to face similar guys like J Jones and AJ Green, and has done well. I expect him to do well here. Dennard's return has really tightened up the secondary. Even at a size advantage, he's a good match against Decker.

    Frankly I just not concerned that much about Wes. He averaged just 6ypc last week, against a D that lost 2 key DB's early in the game. He isn't close to the factor that the other 3 targets are. Remember SD ranked 29th against the pass in the regular season, and that's when they HAD all their starters. I know he'll be very motivated, but the fact is, Manning is more likely to be looking for Thomas, Thomas and Decker, than Welker. I'm sure he'll get some catches, but something like 6 for 38 is what I expect.

    J Thomas has turned into a beast, and more importantly into one of Manning's key go to guys. He wasn't a factor in November, but neither was Jamie Collins. With help over the top Collins can be an effective force against even a passing threat like J Thomas. Collins is certainly the kind of player that can be a mismatch on a couple of levels.

    Its probably not fair to do this, but he IS the key D player this game. He is going to have to elevate his game even more than the rather spectacular one he had last week. If he does, then our chances increase exponentially

    10. The Peyton factor. I have to admit that I was in a poker tournament while Denver played and didn't focus on his play, but what I did see was rather pedestrian. For the most part he made good decisions, but his ball fluttered all the time. Even the last pass, which was essentially the game winner on 3rd and 17 to a wide open man, was barely complete. Only great footwork by Thomas allowed a completion....and JUST barely. It was also his longest completion at just 21 yds.

    Think about this. One of the top 5 WR's in the league, against a seriously depleted SD secondary which was bad to start with, and his longest catch was for 9 yds, averaging only 7ypc on 8 catches. That's against SD back ups. Peyton not only had a redzone pick, he had one total drop, and another semi drop, and that's just what I saw.

    I know he's a HOFer and credit to him on making some big throws on that last drive. But....at home, against a bad secondary, with all his weapons available and he barely put a 9-7 team away with just 230 yds. Sorry but I'm just not scared of performances like that. Don't forget that the Pats held Peyton to 150 yds passing in the first game.

    I really believe that our secondary is peaking and getting healthy at JUST the right time. We've also have the advantage of seeing Peyton enough times that we can see through all the crap he does on the LOS. It will be interesting to see if HE can decipher what the Pats are going to do to him

    SPECIAL TEAMS -

    11. I think for us to win, we are going to need one big play from special teams, maybe its a PR, or KR. Maybe its a TO, or a blocked FG. But much like that first great road win vs the Steelers in 2001, we are going to need a big play from ST's.

    12. In the end, it still looks bleak. Hard to predict a win based on what we see on paper. Christ, it looks like even the weather is going to break in Manning's favor. But I see enough factors, that in the words of that immortal movie classic, Dumb and Dumber, β€œSo your saying there's still a chance”. I see us having a chance, and probably a better one than most of the mediots thnk.

    Well that's my first take. As you know first impressions are important, but not always telling. Maybe things will look differently as the week progresses. Let me know if anything I said strikes a cord....or not. ;)
  3. PATS16N0

    PATS16N0 Rookie

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    Welcome to the party, pal! - YouTube
  4. PATS16N0

    PATS16N0 Rookie

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    I'm actually really optimistic, and I have gone through this season with tempered, realistic expectations that are adjusted every week accordingly.

    We own Denver. I think sometimes it's just as simple as that.
    We have Del Rio's number. We have Fox's number. We've always had Manning's number. Brady has Denver's D's number.

    We're ok.
  5. 12+81=TD

    12+81=TD Rookie

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    Man, PatFanKen...no homo. I lOVE looking for your posts every week. Even told my wife about them. Love your intelligence, insight and writing skills. Do me a favor...NEVER STOP! That's all I have to add. I am a lurker and do not attempt to offer insight, but you sir make it worth my click every week.

    Thanks again man. :rocker:
  6. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan Rookie

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    Always a good read and I felt like I needed a smoke by the end of it (well, if I didn't hate smoking, but you get the idea). :D
    I just try to put things into perspective when it comes to ESPN. While working up in my office, I don't gate the digital channels, so I end up tuning into ESPN until I can catch Dan Patrick. I can forgive the Patriot angle because it's a business strategy and I'm sure market research says if you hate on the Patriots fans of 31 other teams will be happier. so, I pissed off fan base is probably worth it.

    What I can't find forgivable is the special they are advertising. for some reason, I can't tune it out when I hear Nancy Kerrigan crying "Why! Why why." Jeez, I had too much of that the first go around.

    And NFL network is basically using the same formula. They just tend to have Willie McGinest and Heath Evans on more frequently to temper the comments.

    Back to football:
    Does Blount have any ability to catch the ball coming out of the backfield. I know he's had a couple, but the way he has been running lately, he might be a very effective decoy/receiving target for play action.
  7. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    This team feels very similar to the glory days and the 03/04 pats usually stifled the vaunted Manning in the playoffs. I'm hoping this season ends in similar fashion to those.
  8. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think more like 01, no outstanding threats at receiver, and a running game for the offense. And Brady was a game manager. Defensive wise the '01 team was better. 03/04 branch emerged and overall the revcieving core was better.
  9. Kulko

    Kulko Rookie

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    Going into this game I basically feel like SD06 or Denver 05. We are playing on the road and the other team just has flat out more weapons.

    Well on average this worked out fine for the pats. Even the game game was tighter than the score, so I hope for the best.

    Manning will definitely spent half the game carving our defense up, but if we stop him in the other half, and manage enough production on our own, anything is possible.

    We managed to exceed my expectations and everything from now on is bonus.
  10. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great stuff as always, thanks man.

    You hit the nail on the head with the need for our STeams to not only continue to dominate, but to force a big time play or two, directly resulting in points.

    On defense, it comes down to strength versus strength, in particular, our defensive backs versus the Denver passing game. Quick coverage and reaction is the key, Peyton always gets the ball out fast, warp speed fast, way before pressure can get to him. That also helps when you know he won't hold it long enough for intricate or long routes to open up. Peyton said it himself, on the 3rd & 17 play last week, he felt fortunate he wasn't pressured waiting for that route to open up - as is, his floater barely got there. The way our Dbacks are playing right now is incredible. Dennard, Talib, Ryan and Arrington are really jelling. McCourty and Gregory are really directing the group with authority. Even Harmon, when needed has not let anyone down.

    On the offensive side, we have the smartest QB ever and he is healthy and well rested. There is no question that Josh Mc'd is really in a zone right now. The two of them are working so well together, it more than makes up for lack of deep threats. Josh, their former head coach is turing into the Broncos nemesis and worst nightmare.

    As long as we can hold on early, we shold be OK. I think we will need to be within one score, at worst, going into the 2nd half. At that point, I really believe we will take over control and win this thing going away.

    Anybody know the best way to get over the GW??
  11. 1960Pats

    1960Pats Rookie

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    1-2) Peyton Manning doesn't get torn down. He's the current version of Brett Favre. His boners get ignored, both on and off the field.
    3-4) The Pats have had success in Denver, starting with the safety game in 2003 (I'd really like to see a replay of that game) and continuing through Tebow Time.
    5) I was one of the few true believers in 2001, and I still might give it to some of those fans that I argued with back then. One in particular comes to mind and every once in a while I'll run into him and it will come up. We always end up smiling afterward at the thought of the Pats finally getting over that giant hurdle.
    6) Time for Matt Mulligan to get another TD.
    7-8) I can't believe it took you this long to show some confidence.
    9-10) Pats fans are the least likely fans in the NFL to be in fear of facing Peyton Manning.
  12. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    I agree with Ken that the Patriots D will be the unit of strength for the Patriots. They will have to lead the team to victory, and I think they can do it by taking D Thomas and Decker away. If you fluster Peyton, he gets anxious and greedy and eventually, he'll throw one into double coverage.

    On offense, I'm much less optimistic about Brady getting time enough in the pocket to throw, even with no Von Miller. The DT replacement was crushing that pocket against the Chagrers, even against Pro Bowler Hardwick. They have a pass rush up the middle, and Mincey and Phillips are still very dangerous on the outside. I think this aided them greatly against the Chargers.

    Bottom line: the Patriots D can clamp down on the Chargers offense, AND the run game for the Patriots must simply out-tough the Chargers D and cram it down their throats.

    On the first part, the Patriots D has about a 50% chance of clamping down and only allowing 21-24 IMO, but on the second part, the offense is probably only at 25-30% chance of being able to run it on Denver. Patriots chances of winning this game are about 33%.
  13. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I can't believe I'm going to defend the Fivehead, but the truth is the truth and fair is fair:

    He did NOT initiate a comparison between the Patriots travails and the Broncos. Let's not confuse what he said with what Chadidha spewed.

    In his questions, Sal Pal went on about all the problems the Broncos have had to overcome and manning obliged and went on about it also. Then he asked about the Patriots and there the Fivehead actually looked a little embarrassed (evidently anticipated the wave of indignation from Patsfans.com ;) ) and raised his eyebrows and said something to the effect of "Well, hey pardner, them there Patriots have had a lot to overcome there too, ya know!" And basically said it's down to two teams that have had to overcome alot of adversity. I have no problem with that.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10284481

    I can see your point (they are NOT the same), but it's not like he's comparing or diminishing at all.
  14. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    When I see defensive stats out there it really makes me think. Yes Denver is 7th against the run but that can sometimes be skewed. In 2010 or abouts the Raiders were 10th against the pass? Did that make them a good pass defense? No, because they were 31st vs the run. Teams chose not to pass on them because they could ram the run right down they're throats at will.

    Teams have been successful running on Denver. The problem is when your playing from behind you have to pass. That is the key here. The defense has got to start fast as well as the offense. Get a quick lead and then keep pounding the ball and keep them off the field while scoring on long extended drives. It's not rocket science and everyone knows what has got to happen to win. It will be up to the players and coaches to execute.

    But then again who knows, the Pats may see something in the passing game that they think they can exploit and feel they can win a shoot out. Unlikely but the plan does change week to week. It would be nice to have even a tiquan Underwoodin the lineup Sunday. Can't believe Denver's pass is so ripe for the picking and they don't have even a glimpse of a deep threat on the roster.q

    It bothers me to no end with all the injuries on this team. In an alternate reality this team is a legitimate Super Bowl favorite. I feel they would of destroyed anyone left in the dance. It has been a remarkable season and that is a huge plus to the coaches and rookies. It also bodes well for next year. Again just can't say enough about how good this team will be. For now they have just got to play out of their minds like they have and will themselves to a 4th Lombardi.

    Have to admit this is exciting. It feels like 2001 all over again. The uncertainty is something I haven't felt as a fan in awhile. I'm usually super confident every year but this season has been house money in a way. Some big wins along the way mixed with some wtf losses. Should be an awesome game and I'm just going to sit back have some beers and soak it all in. If we win great if we lose we have so much to look forward to next season. Life of a New England fan is just awesome.
  15. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    BTW, against SD last weekend, all I saw from Denver's passing game was timing patterns. Precise, quick, short, "get to the spot" and turn, timing patterns It was the Ernie Zampese passing gmae.

    (Here's where I start foaming at the mouth....)

    We now have the best Patriots secondary since the late 1970's.........and guess what? Talib and Dennard happen to be PHYSICAL at the line CB's.

    Perfect storm: Do the SB 36 gameplan!!!!! Knock these guys at the line of scrimmage and upset Manning's set of dominioes. The Pats have the physical corners and an excellent ballhawking Safety in McCourty who can clean up the mess if they whiff. I have no problem covering Julius Thomas with The Manimal (#91). Arrington absolutely OWNED Welker the first time and, I have no doubt, can shut him down this week again.

    I'm actually more concerned about the Denver running game without Spikes (who needs a leg when you can still be the lumber in an up the middle run game?). THAT is where I'm more uncomfortable this week. Moreno and Ball can bring it.
  16. primetime

    primetime Rookie

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    The Chargers and Colts - two teams whose offensive weapons are equal to or worse than the Patriots - beat the Broncos this season, and the Chargers came roaring back last week once they opened up their offense. Keenan Allen and TY Hilton are great players, but so are Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. The Chargers had Woodhead, but the Patriots have Vereen. And the quarterback is better. If only the cupboard wasn't completely bare at tight end. I agree that the Broncos deserve to be favored, though.
  17. RelocatedPatFan

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    I'm sure the plan will be more to take what is given, but this could be a case of the passing game opening up the run game --- if that even makes sense. We have 2 teams that should be familiar with each other, though I'd give the nod to the Patriots staff as they have had more success against Manning and Del Rio specifically.
    A Healthy Gronk/Wilfork/Mayo with all the other players would make this a very formidable team. It's scary how good the D can be. At the same time, the rookies that have stepped up have earned some great reps/real game experience. all things considered, I'd rather have most of our ProBowl-IR players back


    Question (to anyone)
    Does the extra day of rest/potential prep help out the Patriots? I would think it was an advantage, but then why would they set up the #1 seed to play Sunday if it wasn't better.
  18. primetime

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    This is because Peyton Manning can't throw downfield well anymore.

    But the Broncos have the perfect team for a guy with an accurate pop-gun arm. The Thomases, Welker, and Decker are all great after the catch, and the Broncos use quick slants, picks, and screen plays to get their players into space the same way the Patriots always have.
  19. RIpats88

    RIpats88 Rookie

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    just saying, THompkins and Dobson have NOT been ruled out of the game. They very well both could be at practice tomorrow. Not that I think they will have a HUGE impact
  20. primetime

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    #18 Jersey

    A healthy Dobson could have a bigger impact than any other player, especially with the Broncos secondary in shambles.

    I agree on Thompkins, but only because I think Collie is probably better than Thompkins anyways.

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