FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots ran for 643 yards in their last three games, with running back LeGarrette Blount leading the way with 431 yards and eight touchdowns.
But that doesn't mean that the team is locked in on having a run-oriented offense Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
"Every team has a little different game plan so every week seems to be a little bit different," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. "I’m sure this week will have a different flavor than what last week had. Like I said about six hours ago when I was up here, I think that we always try to find a strength and weakness to the defense and then end up trying to figure out a way around that.
"So, if a team is really geared up to stop the run, then we have to do things to throw it well. If they’re trying to stop the run game, we have to try to pass it. If they’re trying to stop the inside runs, we have to run it outside. If they’re going to stop the outside runs, we run inside. If they’re going to stop the short pass, we have to throw it deep. If they’re going to stop the deep pass, we throw it short. If they’re going to stop the screens, we have to do something. That’s the idea behind offensive football is you really have to do enough things, have enough things in your arsenal to be able to adjust to whatever they’re doing."
The Patriots, after going down 24-0, ended up throwing the ball 50 times against the Broncos in their first meeting in November. The team's rushing game, led by Brandon Bolden, totaled 113 yards on the ground. It was a balanced effort against Denver that the Patriots are determined to have again.
"If your whole game plan is centered around one particular aspect of the game, then it’s going to be pretty easy to shut you down," Brady explained. "I think the best teams have the best variety and have enough players within their system to be capable enough to adapt and change and still ultimately go out and be effective in a lot of different areas, whether it’s a driving rainstorm like we had a few weeks ago or it’s perfect conditions like we may have this weekend, whether you’re down by 24 points like we have been at times, whether you’re up 24.
"All those different brands of football really come into play. I think to be a good team over the course of a long season, you have to be good at all those things and then play to whatever situation ends up happening."