The Denver Broncos sacked Tom Brady four times Sunday in their 20-18 AFC Championship Game win over the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. They pressured Brady throughout the contest, throwing a major wrench into New England’s offensive attack.
So when Aqib Talib was asked about defeating his former team, the Broncos cornerback offered a description one doesn’t often hear in connection with Brady.
“He was rattled, man,” Talib said of Brady, according to WEEI.com. “He was rattled a little bit. We had pressure on him. I saw Malik (Jackson) in his face a number of times, Von (Miller) in his face a number of times, D-Ware (DeMarcus Ware). We were able to get good pressure on him, and that is why we’re going to the ‘ship.”
The Patriots’ offensive line completely collapsed against the Broncos’ pass rush, making it nearly impossible for Brady to operate, even with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola all healthy and in the lineup. Amazingly, New England still put up a fight, but in the end, the relentless pressure was just too much for Brady and the Patriots to overcome.
“I don’t think I have ever seen anyone put that much pressure on Tom, ever,” Talib said. “I think we did a hell of a job getting that pressure.”
The Broncos’ defense has been daunting all season, so perhaps one shouldn’t be shocked by Sunday’s outcome, even though the Patriots entered as the clear-cut favorites. Yet it could take time for New England to get past the loss, as the defending Super Bowl champions once looked primed to head back to the Big Game, which would have been sweet for the Pats in the wake of Deflategate.
“If we had to go to the Super Bowl, AFC championship and play anybody, I wanted it to be the defending champs, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick,” said Talib, who spent a season-plus with the Patriots before signing with the Broncos in 2014. “I wanted it to be them because I have so much respect for those guys.”
Talib even helped seal the deal for Denver by breaking up Brady’s pass attempt on New England’s unsuccessful two-point conversion try in the closing moments.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
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