Just like to preface this by letting everyone know this game is going to decide the legacies for both these quarterbacks. Will Peyton be the guy who couldn’t beat Tom Brady in the playoffs or will Brady be the guy who hasn’t won a big game since 2004? Here are the keys for a Patriots victory:
Stick to the game plan
-Gotta establish the run early. Broncos know that’s what the Pats do now. They don’t have the weapons to be a spread offense anymore. The broncos are gonna crowd the box and not let the pats run all over them. The pats have to keep running the ball. Don’t give up on the run. This team is not built to play in a back and forth game with Peyton and that offense, so killing the clock with first downs and a run game will be essential.
Exploit the weak Broncos secondary
-Denver had to pick up our scrap (Marquice Cole) at corner in order to have the depth to face us. Lets face it, Champ Bailey is not the champ no more. He was injured over half the season and is a solid nickel DB at best. Ill take the amendola/edelman combo all day over the old man inside all day. We have proved we can run the ball but look for us too spread out the weak secondary.
Get Shane Vereen involved in passing attack early
-Games are won on 3rd down. Get Vereen involved early so the linebackers of Denver need to take him into account every play. Then, Edelman will get more space to make big catches on third down.
Don’t give Trindon Holliday any room
-Special teams can influence a game in one play. Broncos return specialist is nasty, Pats cant give him any space to make a play. Peyton will put up enough points as is……..But have no fear for SLATER will be there!!!
Pressure Peyton Manning
-Pats need big games from Ninkovich and Chandler Jones. Cant give Peyton time to pick apart our secondary. Another early pick from Fonzi Dennard would be clutch.
Eliminate the Thomas factor
-Aqib can handle Demaryius Thomas. If the Pats don’t have to worry about Thomas, theyll pay more attention to Julius Thomas and their two white guys. Pats can play a man-zone with Aqib on Demaryius and everyone else guarding against the classic white guy crossing routes. Jamie Collins showed everyone last week how versatile he can be in the 4-3 defense. Not only can he shred through linemen, but he can also play man coverage on physical receivers. Remember what Jimmy graham did against us? Nothing! Expect that from Julius Thomas.
Score more points than the Broncos
-If the Patriots score 1 more point than the Broncos, they’ll probably win this game.