The Denver Broncos faced a beast of an offense Sunday when they went up against Ben Roethlisberger. He brought a duel threat in the pass/run option, yet the Broncos were able to ruffle Big Ben’s feathers with constant pressure. They sacked him five times, and hurried him into poor throws.
That’s exactly what the team will need to do this week when they face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
“Playing a team like the New England Patriots when they’ve got so many weapons, we’ve definitely got to play assignment sound football and cut down on the mental errors,” Von Miller said.
Miller, still playing with a cast on his hand, came out of his recent shell and contributed one sack in Sunday’s game. Elvis Dumervil added another sack, the game’s most critical one to end the Steelers drive at the end of the fourth quarter.
The last time the Broncos faced Tom Brady, he threw for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for another. The Broncos were able to sack him twice, but other than that, Brady had his way in Denver.
“He (Brady) sits in the pocket,” Miller said. “He’s not like other quarterbacks that will drop back and step up. He gets the snap and he stays right there. Most importantly we’ve just got to get him off that spot, we’ve got to get him running around a little bit…It’s definitely going to take our best effort to get it done on Saturday.”
Joe Mays added that it’s not just about stopping Brady by pressuring him. Aaron Hernandez had 9 catches for 129 yards and a TD.
“We’re going to have to pressure the receivers as well,” Mays said. “Try to get more hands on them and try to slow the timing down. ”
While the tendency is to look back on what happened in the Broncos 41-23 loss to the Pats in December, coaches have warned players that it’s going to be a much different environment.
“The situation is totally different this time,” Miller said. “We’re playing at their place, it’s a playoff game, so I’m sure the schemes will be a lot different. I think this game will be totally different from the first game.”
If the outcome is different, all the more power to them.
“I think we have a better game plan this time around,” Mays said, but make no mistake. “We’re going to have to play the best ball we have all year.”