It's Sunday afternoon. The game that Roger Goddell has prayed for(or 'paid for' as some non Denver/NE fans may claim) has arrived. The face of the National Football League is walking out onto the field with his plethora of weapons, including one Wes Welker, to try and score as many points as possible. They've had some things go right for them, including picking up an excellent Right-Guard in free-agency that everyone claimed was washed up but has turned in an All-Pro season. One thing that has not gone right, the reason why they need to score as many points as possible, is because the Defense is just that bad. If they do not score over twenty points they will probably lose the game. They struggle against teams with winning records while running up the score on others. Moreover, some question the veteran Quarterbacks deep-ball. Despite that they've made it to the American Football Conference Championship Game after securing a bye and making a mockery of Mike McCoy.
Now comes the last four-quarters standing between them and placement in the Super Bowl. They are hosting a big-name rival that has given them trouble before. This could describe both the 2013 Denver Broncos or the 2011 New England Patriots.
Countless including injuries, weather, and head-scratching calls by the refs.
Keys for both Defenses:
Stop the run, limit yards after catch, disguise as often as possible. Get physical at the line of scrimmage to force the opposing QB to hold onto the ball. No runs, no screens, no 5-10 yard throws. Disrupt the short passing-game, confuse the precision-based Offense, stifle the rush, and force the opposing HoF QB to try going deep.
Keys for both Offenses:
Limit mistakes and take advantage of the rival's mistakes. This is the AFCCG, there won't be many and what few that prop up must be utilized as much as possible. Missed tackles, missed assignments, coverage breakdowns, balls on the ground.
I'll show you my injuries if you show me yours. Meet the Balling IR'ed.
RDE Derek Wolfe, NT Vince Wilfork, LDE Tommy Kelly
OLB Von Miller, WILB Jerod Mayo, SILB Brandon Spikes
FS Quinton Carter, SS Rahim Moore, CB Chris Harris
LT Ryan Clady, OC Dan Koppen(we had him first....), RT Sebastien Vollmer, TE Rob Gronkowski.
P Ryan Allen(?)
What has definitely changed for New England since they last met Denver?
+ NT upgraded from rookie-UDFA Joe Vellano to former-Bronco/Seahawk/49er Sealver Siliga.
+ LB Dont'a Hightower has gone from confused 2nd-year man to downright-intimidating.
+ LB Jamie Collins has gone from very-raw rookie to full-time-starter and phenom.
+ CB Aqib Talib has had time to ice up. He appears healthier.
+ CB Alfonzo Dennard has had time to ice up. He's definitely healthier.
+ SS Steve Gregory will be active.
- TE Rob Gronkowski will not be active.
- SILB Brandon Spikes will not be active.
- WR's Dobson and Thompkins are both injured to some unknown degree.
- Not a home-game.
What has definitely changed for Denver since they last met New England?
+ Julius Thomas will be active. Upgrade over the other TE who's abbreviated name is JT.
+ John Fox will be on the sideline. Upgrade over Jack Del Rio.
+ Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should play 4 quarters this time, not 2.
+ The game is at home, not in Foxboro. Decent weather is expected not the frozen hell @that Belichick conjures just for Peyton.@
- OLB Von Miller will not be active.
- CB Chris Harris will not be active.
- DT Kevin Vickerson will not be active.
- ILB Paris Lenon has been getting meaningful snaps. Maybe the one-time Patriot surprises me..
- CB Tony Carter may be active. He was active Week 12. In fact in case you forgot he made one of the most ridiculous plays of the game. I'll see Manning's OMAHA and raise him a PETER.
DT/DE Derek Wolfe, S Rahim Moore, and WR Josh Boyce aren't on the lists because they did not play in that Week 12 match up.
Probable liquid company:
Sam Adams. Mmmm is Alpine Spring out yet?