Sure, the Broncos have Tim Tebow and all his magic at quarterback, but that does not always win you a football game. This was shown when he lost three straight games to end his 2011 campaign. He made it up though by throwing an 80-yard bomb to Demaryius Thomas to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime.
There are four main keys to the Patriots getting a win: not falling behind early, maximizing Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, protecting Tom Brady and forcing Tebow to pass.
The Patriots have been slacking in the first half of games in 2011 and have trailed five of their past seven games after the first quarter. They trailed Kansas City (3-0), Washington (14-10), Denver (13-7), Miami (3-0, 17-0 at the half) and Buffalo (21-0). If the Patriots can get out on the right foot, then expect the Patriots to easily defeat the Broncos.
The tight ends, Hernandez and Gronkowski, are an essential part of the Patriots’ offense and they will be a huge factor in determining the Patriots’ outcome on Saturday. They have combined for 2,237 yards on 169 catches and 24 receiving TDs.
Let’s face it, Pats fans — Brady is the main weapon for this team in 2011 and he dictates how far they will go into the postseason. The offensive line needs to step up and protect him from the pass rush of the Broncos.
As any football fan knows, Tebow is famous for one thing (besides the praying): he can not pass the ball well. Against the best pass defesnse in the NFL, Tebow threw for 316 yards and was 10-for-16 on his pass attempts. Hopefully, this does not happen when one of the worst defense against the pass, the Patriots, faces Tebow.
The Broncos also have some factors in their favor: they generate a strong pass rush, they run the ball extremely well, Thomas has great speed and they win when they do not turn the ball over.
They had five sacks when they faced the Steelers and that was with Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. Brady needs to make sure he moves quick or else this defense will swallow him up and spit him back out.
Willis McGahee led the Broncos with 1,160 rushing yards. Tebow was second with 660 yards and led the team with six rushing TDs. And you can’t forget about Lance Ball with 402 rushing yards. The Broncos led the entire NFL with 164.5 yards per game on the ground and that could wear the Pats’ defense down.
Thomas is one wide receiver who is just fun to watch. He may not have been a force in the first half of the NFL season, but now that Tebow finds him in space, he is one of the most exciting receivers to watch in the NFL. Don’t forget how physical he can be with that stiff arm to score that game-winning touchdown.
The Broncos seem to keep control of the ball when they win, but when they can’t, they are an easy team to beat. They totaled 30 turnovers in 2011 and three of those came in one game from Tebow’s interceptions against the Buffalo Bills.
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