The last time the New England Patriots visited the Denver Broncos, Broncos Country was high as a kite. Under a young head coach and Belichick disciple, the Broncos picked up a win against arguably one of the most composed franchises in all of sports to start their season 5-0. After one more win in ’09 to go 6-0, the team then lost their next four games and eight of their next ten. That was pretty much the inscription on Josh McDaniels’ head coaching gravestone.
With an entirely different coaching staff and a very different roster, the Broncos will once again put the welcome mat out for a bitter Belichick, Brady, and a few Boston area fans. They want revenge in Denver.
Last season, the Patriots took first in the AFC East with a 14-2 record, but they were then beat in the playoffs by their division rival, the New York Jets.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing the Patriots in New England or in Denver – all home field advantage is washed away with such an experienced coaching staff and starting quarterback.
The team was ranked first in offense last season putting up 32.4 points per game. They were ranked 9th in rushing and 11th in passing. Tom Brady had the best QB rating in the league with a staggering 36 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He had good protection as he was sacked just 25 times. Benjarvus Green-Ellis led the team in rushing with over 1,000 yards on the season, 13 touchdowns, and no fumbles. Wes Welker came back strong after an ’09 knee injury and led the team in receiving yards. The Patriots had a balanced offense that kept the defense off the field.
The Patriots were ranked 8th in points allowed per game, 11th in rush defense and 30th in pass defense. Jerod Mayo led the team and the league in tackles with 174 on the year. Despite the poor pass defense on the whole, Devin McCourty was 4th in the league in interceptions with 7. Mike Wright led the team in sacks with 6.
As long as Belichick is head coach and Tom Brady is under center, you can never count the Patriots out of Super Bowl contention.
This is no easy contest for the Broncos who by comparison to the Pats, lack leadership, experience, and depth. However, as we learned two years ago, the better team doesn’t always win and anything can happen.
Make sure to follow Predominantly Orange on Facebook.