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Patriots 17, Broncos 7: Halftime thoughts

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  October 7, 2012 05:56 PM

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FOXBOROUGH – Some halftime thoughts as the Patriots lead 17-7.

  • Big missed opportunity by the Patriots to go up 21-7 before halftime. They had to settle for a field goal after Brandon Bolden lost 3 yards on third down. Patriots would like to have that play back, and probably go with a pass or a Tom Brady sneak. But after that half of offensive football for the Patriots, it’s almost difficult to complain.
  • Loved how the Patriots used the fast version of their hurry-up offense in this game. It’s absolutely textbook Patriots. The Broncos were chirping about how new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio would be a big difference this time around, and how the Broncos had a new attitude on defense. Patriots basically said, “Well, how about if we don’t let you line up to run these new, exotic front and blitzes?” That’s exactly what the Patriots did. Broncos can’t scheme and disguise if they can’t line up and get the correct personnel. Great call by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
  • The Broncos have to be kidding if they think slot corner Chris Harris can play Wes Welker (nine catches, 71 yards, one touchdown) one-on-one. Most teams that have success against Welker use a linebacker to bracket him. Denver has done none of that, and has to be thinking about making that a halftime adjustment.
  • Love the Tom Brady quote that Phil Simms used during the telecast in reference to Welker. “Why would we ever think about changing certain things about this offense when it's worked so well?” That was a veiled reference to Welker being made a supporting player in the offense to start the season, instead of a major part. Funny how that worked out.
  • Broncos can’t get lined up correctly, and the Patriots are using the same inside rushing attack to pound the soft middle of the Broncos’ defense. The only time New England has had trouble rushing the ball, it’s been on a few stretch plays to the outside.
  • Interesting that with Tavon Wilson starting (and staying) at safety, the Patriots elected to have Ras-I Dowling play the “money” dime spot against the interior receivers. The other option would have bring to have a guy like Sterling Moore play safety in dime, and allow Wilson to move up.
  • Good to see Alfonzo Dennard get on the field at right cornerback. He has talent, but he needs some experience.
  • Also a good move to flip Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich on the ends. Nobody’s going to beat LT Ryan Clady, so might as well give Jones a chance on the other side against RT Orlando Franklin.
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