Is There An Upset Coming?
The Patriots must be happy to see the Broncos coming to Foxborough, but the Broncos have a pocketful of miracles.
Key To The Game: Defense
Doom & Gloom:
Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil have been quiet for the past few weeks. If the Broncos have any hope of slowing down Tom Brady and his arsenal of targets, the Broncos need to apply pressure.
Tom Brady probably will never forget the perfect hit Dumervil gave him during their last game in Week 15. He needs to repeat that, and Miller needs to help out too or Brady will carve up a secondary filled with rookies.
The Bottom line is that the Broncos must get Brady uncomfortable or it will be a shootout, and Brady has the better weapons.
The Broncos secondary is a confusing entity. Anchored by 10 time Pro-Bowler Champ Bailey, the secondary is almost completely rookies. Diamond in the rough, Chris Harris, must be able to bother Brady in the backfield off the Nickelback Blitz as well as shutdown the short inside passes to Gronkowski and Hernandez. Rookie safeties Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter will need to play smart for 60 minutes. Just like in Week 15, one slip up and Brady will make you pay, even if it means he has to throw to Ochocinco.
The rookie secondary is capable of big plays, and they will need to make a few to keep this game close.
No matter what you hear at the watering hole or on your lunch break, there is still no cornerback in the league as experienced and reliable as Champ Bailey. Champ showed us his talent in Week 15 when he forced Wes Welker to become a non-factor. This week, it is the playoffs and Champ will be in top form. If Bailey can nullify Wes Welker, the broncos rookies might be able to contain the rest of the Pats arsenal. Expect to see an elite player make elite plays.
The Broncos are heavy underdogs. If the Broncos defense can win the key matchups listed above, the game will be close. A close game is all you need when your Quarterback is Tim Tebow. Tight defense and a turnover or two will make this one of the most exciting matchups in this years playoffs, because nobody knows how to force a game into overtime better than the Broncos.