Five pre-game thoughts as the Patriots prepare to play the Broncos this Sunday afternoon:
- Today, I believe that the key for the Patriots is getting off to a quick start offensively. While the Patriots have been very good on the offensive side of the ball in the 2nd and 3rd quarter lately, they are going to need to put up points early. If they can put up 30 or more points, I don't see the Broncos being able to score enough points to keep up with them.
- On offense, the Patriots are obviously going to need to be aware of the Broncos' pass rushers and multitude of blitzes. To offset their timing, I expect Tom Brady to go to a lot of hard counts, draws, and possibly even some quick screens.
- For those wanting to see how the Patriots can handle themselves against a physical football team, this will be your chance. The Patriots are going to have a chance to show that they can win against a physical, hard nosed football team. Of course, they've done it already to the Jets twice this season, but struggled to do it against the Steelers. Today should be a good test for the Patriots against a playoff-caliber squad in the Denver Broncos.
- For those wondering where I stand on the whole "Tebowmania" craze, I couldn't even quite tell you for sure. I like the guy, but I also feel that the MVP talk that is surrounding him is a bit ridiculous at this point. He still needs to prove himself as a passer, and while I've personally enjoyed watching his 4th quarter heroics, he needs to get better in quarters 1-3 because there will come a point when his poor play puts the Broncos in too big of a hole to get out of. I'm not a Tebow believer, but definitely not a hater.
- Greg's Prediction: Patriots 31 Broncos 20. I like what the Broncos are doing, but I don't think that they match-up well offensively against what the Patriots are bad at defensively. If you shorten the field, ask the Patriots to defend the run, the Patriots are not a "porous" defense as many would suggest. That being said, if the Patriots can get that "quick" passing game and no-huddle going, I think that they can come out on top with a solid victory.