Re: One KEY defensive strategy against the Broncos Sunday night...
posted at 11/23/2013 9:24 PM EST
In response to agcsbill's comment:
IMHO, this game Sunday night will come down to how successful the Patriots D is against the Denver offense. Regardless of how effective the offense may be, if the D can't keep the Broncos from scoring fast and furious, it will be a tough game to win. With that said, my pick:
The defensive backs need to fully disrupt the timing of the Broncos receivers and Manning. They need to jam them at the line and keep up with them. As Jaws has aluded to on ESPN, Manning, in the Chiefs game, released the ball an average of 2.17 seconds after the snap. He was able to do so because his receivers were not disrupted to get to the point on the field the timing of their routes required. This is a tall order considering all the injuries the Pats are enduring. But, to repeat an oft said phrase: "Next man up" will truly be in play Sunday night.
This isn't next man up, it is more like next defense up at this point.
When you finish the previous game with fewer starting players on your defense than backups, you are truly hurting.
Frankly I am amazed how well the D has played so far even with the injuries. I don't think they or BB get enough credit for just how well they have played through the depletions.
Take a moment and think about trying to finish an NFL caliber game with 6 out of 11 of your defensive starters out. ...and a 7th who was very questionable.
The Patriots offense has to continue to improve and BE BETTER.
The offense and Brady are still very inefficient, for the moment. In large part due to the horrendous start to the season because of injuries and new faces needing time. That warps that stat somewhat. I believe they have the lowest 3rd down conversion rate for a Pats offense since 2000, at the moment. They are 21st in the NFL at 35.8%. Denver is 2nd in the NFL at 48%. The Pats are 8th in the NFL in scoring drive efficiency at 39.2%. Denver is 1st in the NFL at 47.7%. The Pats offense best come to play or it will be a long night.
If you told me The Patriots offense would be less efficient than the Panthers, regardless of the number of possessions in the game, I probably would not have believed it. The possessions typically come out equal or 1 different because that is how the game goes. You get one they get one.
The Pats and Panthers each had 7 each although one of the Panthers was hardly a possession, end of half. Pats Defense missing 6 starters by game end. Pats offense missing 1 starter. Pats need to score more points. Carson Palmer and EJ Manuel with their offenses put up more points against the Panthers than Brady and the Pats. I would not even say the Panthers stopped the Pats at all in that game but doesn't matter, they didn't have to. Pats stopped themselves.
If the Patriots offense continues to stop themselves they have no shot at winning the Broncos game. Doesn't matter if they stop themselves with poor execution or stupid penalties. The blitz pickup O-line call, Ridley fumble, and Mankins hot head penalty for examples from last game. Scoring in the 20's and winning would be a surprise to me.
They also need to play from in front. They have historically come out on the winning end more often when playing through the game with a lead the entire way against Manning. That could most likely be said for most games against any opponent but especially so against Manning. Manning won't make many mistakes but helping him feel a lil sense of urgency to "press" is when he does.
Both offenses I assume are going to move the ball well. Which offense can be the more well oiled machine. Who can be more "consistently" efficient with the fewest mental mistakes for an entire game. That is the team and who will win the game in my opinion.
Anyone hanging their hat on the Pats defense "rising to the occasion". Making the one big play to swing or save the game really never learns anything from watching the Patriots play. This is the same mentality that had people freaking out over the last Pats superbowl loss. The Pats defense is decimated. They are NOT turning into something new or better, miraculously, over night. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. They are wiped out.
I expect the Pats defense to attempt to do what they do to everyone. Bend don't break. Try to make a team consistently work down a long field mistake free. Forcing the other team into a greater probability of beating themselves through a greater number of attempted flawless play executions. Not give up big chunks or easy and quick scores. I would also expect them to try and never show or give Manning the same thing twice, consecutively.
The Patriots offense needs to score points! I honestly know nothing about Denvers D but everyone says they stink and are frauds. If that is true then I expect the Pats offense to put points on the board every possession. How many 4th ands will the Pats go for in the game?
One last point. I hear everyone being happy about the weather and how it will adversely affect Manning. No idea how it will but one thing I do have a strong belief in, it will affect Talib. IF he even plays. If Talib plays, just how effective or how long do you think that hip will last in the freezing cold? If it is as bad as everyone thinks I see that thing tightening up quick.
Those would be my initial thoughts on the game.