With the bye week officially over, the Patriots coaches are fully entrenched in their game plan for the Denver Broncos. The Patriots will travel to Denver for a Sunday Night showdown with one of the best defenses in the league. Or so we thought.
While the Patriots were sitting at home, the Broncos suffered an embarrassing loss to the Eagles to the tune of 51-23. Quarterback, Brock Osweiler, made the start and was predictably underwhelming, completing just 50 percent of his passes for 204 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Currently, the Super Bowl champion of two seasons ago, sits dead last in the AFC West. However, that means nothing to Bill Belichick and company.
The Broncos currently rank 25th in the league, allowing 24.8 points per game, however, they still rank second overall in yards, allowing 280 per game. In a Monday conference call, Belichick fawned over the Broncos defense, despite their recent struggles.
“Defensively they’ve been the top-ranked defense in the league,” said Belichick.”They’re good against everything – run, pass, third down, hitting the quarterback, do a real good job in the running game, put you in a lot of long yardage situations.”
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who spent a season and a half as head coach of the Broncos, echoed Belichick’s sentiment on the Broncos defense.
“From our perspective, the defense is the most challenging part,” said McDaniels. “That’s an exceptional unit that’s been exceptional for a number of years. We know that that’s who we’re playing against.”
“We’ve got to do a great job of preparing for a really, really tremendous unit from front-to-back, from back-to-front, however you want to look at it,” added McDaniels. “They’re really talented, they create a lot of problems for you, and playing in their stadium on the road at night, I’m sure it will be loud and that will add to the challenge. But, we’ve got to have a great week of preparation, go there and try to play the game the right way.”
Historically, the Patriots and quarterback, Tom Brady, have struggled when facing Denver. Especially when the game is played in Denver. In his career, Brady holds a 6-6 record against the Broncos, including a loss in Denver in 2009 against the McDaniels-led Broncos.
This season, both teams seem to be moving in opposite directions. The Broncos look lost at 3-5 and the Patriots are coming out of the bye strong with a four-game winning streak. In order to get off to a strong start in the second half of the season, the Patriots and Brady must exercise some demons against a vulnerable Broncos team.
One thing is for the sure, the Patriots coaching staff will not take this team lightly.
– Ian Glendon is the National Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on Follow @iglen31 Follow @cover32_NE and Facebook.