Article is here. Now time for the Review!
Brady and Co. must be on target: I don't want Brady throwing into double and triple coverage. I don't want him zoning in on one guy (unless he is constantly getting open). I want Brady manipulating coverages, calling audibles, and pass it to the open guy. This happens mostly for 3 quarters, and I'm hoping he won't fold for 3 quarters like the cowboys, pitt, and giants. Incompetent 3 quarter play led us to 2/3 of our losses. Brady and Co. must give it their A game, and I am looking at you too O'Brien.
Um..... yeah.... they definitely did give it their A game. Brady was picking apart the Bronco defense to the tune of 6 TD passes, 26/34 for 363 yards. The only wtf moment was his INT. But that was really it. Rob Gronkowski was the popular target today, catching 10/26 passes (next in line was welker with 6 receptions) for 145 yards and 3 TDs. Overall, Brady was making Denver's defense look like a college defense trying its legs out in the NFL. It was just pure.... blissfulness.
Balance is key: Why? Well it's simple. The Broncos do have a pretty good passing defense, and if we are passing it virtually all game, I can expect a couple of INTs. Denver will be MUCH more ready to face Brady and his weapons this time. They got first hand on how Herndo can beat them, and they will adjust their scheme to incorporate him. BJGE and Ridley and Woody should be ready, because getting a running game going will not only give their DC fits on what players to zone in on, but it will open up the passing, and if we are passing it very well we should run the ball once or twice to keep the defense honest and guessing.
Pats have passed it 34 times while running it 30 times (Brady ran it 3 times though). The surprise was having Herndo out there in the backfield, running the ball 5 times for 61 yards. Herndo was a RB in highschool I believe, and im sure he played some RB in college. In any case, they did try and keep it balanced, but when Brady was just so damn in sync and killing their passing defense, running the ball became not as much a priority (I noticed they ran the ball much more late in the 4th quarter, when we already had the broncos beat so thats why so see 30 runs there (pats ran the ball 8 times, while passing it only twice according to the espn play by play).
Defense must be at their A game: Okay I'm going to be honest: Tebow can throw the ball. STILL Raw, but he is a lot better than when we faced him earlier. They have the #1 running game, and Tebow will be able to pass the ball to guys that are open. I am confident enough that we can contain their run they way we did for 3 quarters the last game, and we'll be getting spikes and chung back this game which will greatly help. Now for our pass defense? It will be better. McCourty is starting to show up, and chung will add to our passing defense as well (who the hell wants Ihedigbo or nate jones for safety? lol). Maybe even Sterling Moore could start at FS, but I think we'll see him at slot CB and in sub packages. Now..... What scares me is not the deep pass, but the middle of the field. Mayo and our linebackers need to help in the middle and our CBs should play closer coverage with some safety help. Tebow passing is now, to tell the truth, scaring me a bit. I don't want him to pass the ball well, especially in the middle of the field. The defense, overall, will have their hands full, and the broncos have momentum coming into this game which is dangerous.
Defense was firing at all cylinders. How many tackles for loss? 14? Thats unreal against a power running team. 5 sacks on the day to, with Ninko pulling in the big day with 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Overall, the defense was fantastic. Batting down and covering passes, and stopping the run much better than I expected. Having Chung and Spikes back are HUGE for this defense, and we can see how well they don in the 3-4 compared to the 4-3 (more tougher). I see McCourty is rotating back at safety as well in long passing situations. He seems to fit well back there. Moore is a competent starting CB too. Tough, physical guy who has really good hip movement.Oh how about Tebow's stats? A groovy 9/26 for 136 yards. Brings tears of happiness to my eyes.
Win the turnover battle: The pats have a scary record when they win the turnover battle. Its no surprise that any team will lose momentum when the ball is turned over, and the opposition gets points. Brady, I expect, will throw one INT. It's just a feeling seeing as how this game is huge for the Broncos. But I fully expect Brady to play lights out for at least 3 quarters, and I expect our defense to play like the top 3 takeaway team they are, as well as get some 3 and outs here and there (wouldn't hurt).
Brady played great for 4 quarters. turnover battle was about even, but of course, the pats offense and defense were just lights out. Momentum was all pats throughout the game. Tis was delightful. So This key wasn't as "key" as I thought.
Play smart: Tebow as I said is coming into this game, and his team, with a lot of momentum. We need to come out strong, and start playing like a superbowl team. Slow starts are not something I would like. If we are down by 17, I don't want the pats team to panic, and flash of last year's game go through their heads. The whole team needs to play with synergy, and confidence. Confidence and momentum are dangerous combinations. We need to come out with a solid gameplan, we need to execute not with perfection, but at least more than the other guy. We need to run the ball, pass the ball, contain tebow and the option offense, and do whatever is working. We can't go overboard, and call a 30 yard pass play on a 2nd and 5. Control the clock, get points, keep the defense rested, and we'll win this game with flying red, white, and blue patriot colors. :)
I will admit I am very tired right now, so I'll make this quick. Did we come out strong? Oh yes indeed. Came out 14-0, scoring 14 points in the first, and then 21 points in the second! Yeah, I think we came out very strong. Soon the momentum shifted all the way to the Pats side of the ball, and our whole team started playing with confidence. I don't think there was a point in the game where anyone felt that the pats were not in control. And that is just pure dominance in every sense of the word.
I will have a Keys to the Ravens up tomorrow or the next day. Hopefully I will have time to write it.