Patriots RBs vs Broncos Front Seven – Razor’s Edge Denver
The Patriots running game was virtually non-existent (87.8ypg), this season and don’t expect that to change against the #3 rated run defense in the NFL. The offensive line gave no one, be it LaGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, Brandon Bolden or Steven Jackson much room to run this season. And they won’t attempt a bunch on Sunday as well.
The Broncos allow only 83.6 yards per game on the ground with the 3-4 defense they operate in under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Their front three has the underrated DL Sylvester Williams flanked by Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson and they are good at the point of attack and allow an athletic group of linebackers led by Danny Trevathan to fly up and make plays.
Look for the Patriots to run a few plays to keep the defense honest and try to catch them off-guard with a couple of traps and an occasional Jet-sweep hoping to catch the line in a stunt. But that is about it…for them to go to Santa Clara it will have to be thru the air.
Patriots WRs vs Broncos Secondary – Razor’s Edge New England
James White could see an expanded role in the passing offense.
(USA TODAY Images)
The long-awaited return of Julian Edelman couldn’t have come at a better time. He jump started the Patriots short passing game which in turn, helped a beleaguered offensive line and allowed the other receivers more room to operate. It was a snow-ball effect that aided the entire offense.
In the first meeting this season, the Pats were without Edelman and Danny Amendola and they lost TE Rob Gronkowski in the second half. James White wasn’t yet a trusted member of the offense and it ultimately cost them when their top receivers outside were Brandon LaFell, Chris Harper and Keshawn Martin.
Denver has the #1 defense in the NFL against the pass and besides having one of the top secondaries in the league, boast an outstanding pass rush featuring DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller. Phillips loves to blitz and Denver led the league in sacks with 52. Ware is back, having missed the first game and he gives Denver the bookend pass rushers that make them hard to block. Don’t go to sleep on Shaq Barrett either, as the 2nd year OLB filled in admirably in Ware’s absence and chipped in with 5.5 sacks.
Look for the Patriots to spread them out similar to what they did last week against the Chiefs. With four and at times five wide receivers, the Broncos will have to match up and with White out of the backfield, they’ll attempt to put Denver’s linebackers in space and force them to cover something they attempted in the first meeting.
Next up the Denver offense:
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 NFL Post season 2015 NFL Season 2015 Patriots Season AFC Championship Game Aqib Talib Bill Belichick Brandon LaFell Brandon Marshall C. J. Anderson Chandler Jones Chris Harris Danny Amendola DeMarcus Ware Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Derek Wolfe Dion Lewis Emmanuel Sanders Gary Kubiak Jabaal Sheard Julian Edelman New England Patriots NFL Owen Daniels Patriots Patriots edge rushers Peyton Manning Pittsburgh Steelers predictions Rob Gronkowski Rob Ninkovich Ronnie Hillman Shaq Barrett T.J. Ward Tom Brady Von Miller Wade Phillips