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Patriots – Broncos Keys, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?

Steve Balestrieri
4 years ago at 8:09 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

Patriots – Broncos Keys, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

Patriots RBs vs Broncos Front Seven – Razor’s Edge New England
The Patriots rushing offense is averaging 115.5 yards per game, a huge turnaround from 2015. LeGarrette Blount has over 1000 yards and 14 touchdowns, with Dion Lewis and James White giving them plenty of options in the running game behind a rejuvenated offensive line.

Denver’s rush defense has struggled for most of 2016, after being the number 6 unit against the run last year. The Broncos are currently the 29th ranked rush defense allowing 127.2 yards per game and 4.2 yards per rush.

Look for the Patriots to run right at the Broncos aggressive pair of edge rushers in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware with runs off-tackle to counter their upfield pass rush moves. Blount and Dion Lewis should give the Patriots a sizeable edge this time around and help keep the chains moving.

Patriots WRs vs Broncos Secondary – Razor’s Edge Denver
It isn’t often that we give anyone an edge of the Patriots and Tom Brady in the passing game but Denver’s defense is #1 against the pass for a reason. First, they have a tremendous pass rush with Miller, Ware, and Shane Ray and have 38 sacks, most in the AFC and only one behind Carolina for the league lead.

They also boast two of the best cornerbacks in the league with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris who can blanket and shut down most receivers they’ll face. The Patriots offense is still trying to find the production from losing Rob Gronkowski and they’re doing it by spreading the ball around.

This may not be a huge statistical game for Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, and Malcolm Mitchell but the keys this week may lie in the backs out of the backfield. Yesterday we wrote a piece about how the Patriots can defeat the Broncos pass defense by utilizing the backs in the passing game.

By attacking the Denver linebackers in space, White and Lewis can provide big mismatches in the passing game. Both Todd Davis and Brandon Marshall are hurting and may not even play. The Patriots would be best served by going after each, much like Atlanta did in Week 5.

Martellus Bennett is the Pats “X-Factor” here. If the blocking on the OL holds up, he can be a valuable piece in the passing game. Look for him to be an added weapon in the middle of the field. Since last season, the Patriots tight ends lead the NFL in yards per reception with 15.2 (172 catches, 2616 yards), the NFL average is 11.0.

Prior to last week’s game, James White has averaged a touchdown on every 10.9 receptions (87 receptions, 8 TDs) since the 2015 season. That is tops in the NFL among 37 qualified RBs. The average is 26.9. This is according to Inside Edge Scouting.

Next up the Denver offense:


Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots season Aqib Talib Bill Belichick Chris Harris Chris Hogan Danny Amendola DeMarcus Ware Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Dion Lewis Dont'a Hightower Emmanuel Sanders Gary Kubiak Jabaal Sheard James White Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler Martellus Bennett New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers predictions Rob Ninkovich Tom Brady Trevor Siemian Trey Flowers Von Miller

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