C Dan Koppen and RB Willis McGahee vs. Wilfork, Love, and Spikes.
Starting With the Pats D vs. the Broncos Offense:
The Pats know Koppen better than he knows himself and they will look to exploit him. With the strengths of the Bronco OLine at the edges in their Tackles, Pats could thrive by aiming to break the center of the line. Besides, Manning like Brady is deeply effected by inside-pressure.
The Growth of the Front-7.
More and more the Pats are getting creative upfront. Chandler Jones is moving around more, both along the line and dropping back, and that may be vital in this game considering the level of play the Broncos are getting out of their LT Clady. Ryan Clady looks like a bad match-up for Jones. Pats will need to find ways to create pressure in less than 3 seconds.
Hey rookie, welcome to the NFL. With Steve Gregory out the rookie from Illinois is in at Safety with Patrick Chung. It'll be interesting to see where each guy plays, but expect for Manning to try and test that rookie early and often. Manning likes SR Brandon Stokely and TE Tamme between the numbers.
Kyle Arrington vs. Decker, Thomas, and Stokely.
I don't expect Manning to test McCourty as much as Arrington. Whether Arrington is playing RCB or SCB he's going to be picked on. He needs to recognize what is happening as the Pats can't afford to have a CB looking lost on a field with Peyton Manning,
.And the Pats O vs. the Broncos D:
All the Broncos DBs besides Bailey vs. Tom Brady.
The Pats respect LCB Champ Bailey, which means they'll pass the ball away from Champ Bailey. RCB Tracy Porter and SCB Chris Harris will be picked on, along with the Safeties as well given the turnover the Broncos have had back there.
Run the ball away from SOLB Von Miller.
The Pats had a lot of success on the ground by running over undersized 43DE Mark Anderson and away from Mario Williams, who wasn't particularly impressive to begin with. Elvis Dumervil is short and stocky and given the talent the Pats have at OT(Solder, Vollmer) and TE(Gronk, Fells) it seems like a very good match-up for the Pats.
Don't let pressure come up the gut.
The Pats OLine is strongest at the edges, and the Broncos pass-rush only seems to exist at the edges. That's a good match-up. If the Pats can keep rookie Derek Wolfe in check they'll win in the middle as well.
Give some love to the crowd.
The only time the Pats played at home this season was the Cardinals game. It was historically pathetic, and they better be pumped to put on a good show at home.