Aaron Hernandez celebrates with Wes Welker after scoring on a 17-yard touchdown. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

Looking Ahead To Week 5: Broncos at Patriots


Now that the Denver Broncos schedule has been released, we are going to take a game-by-game look at the regular season that the Broncos have in front of them.

For the Denver Broncos’ second road game of the year, they travel to New England to take on the Patriots. By this point in the Broncos schedule, the team has four of five games against playoff teams from the year before. The red-hot Patriots went 13-3 in 2011 and won their last eight games of the season. Of course they beat the Broncos in the divisional round of the playoffs and advanced to the Super Bowl where they lost to the New York Giants.

Facing the Patriots this year takes on a whole new meaning with Peyton Manning on board. The Pats stomped Tebow and the Broncos in Denver 41-23 in the regular season and then they ripped them apart 45-10 in New England in January. The last time Manning faced the Patriots (2010), New England won 31-28 at home.

The Patriots have offensive leaders all across the boards. Their passing game is the best in the league and they utilize the tight ends better than anyone else. Last season, their offense put up 32.1 points per game which was good enough for 3rd in the league. Their rushing game was ranked 20th and their passing game 1st.

Defensively, the Patriots were 15th in points allowed (21.4). Their rush defense was 17th and their pass defense was 31st.

The Patriots routinely make a big-splash in the offseason. It’s how they’ve had such a great team from over a decade. This year they signed receivers Donte’ Stallworth and Brandon Lloyd. They took a couple of former Broncos in tight end Daniel Fells and fullback Spencer Larsen (Josh McDaniels still has his guys). They also picked up defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene and safety Steve Gregory.

Early Prediction: Patriots – 27 Broncos – 24. It’s a much closer game, but the Patriots take this one as well. Winning in Gillette against an already polished Patriots team doesn’t come easy.

Patriots Leaders in 2011:

Tom Brady – 401-for-611 (65.6%), 5,235 passing yards, 39 TDs, 12 INTs

BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 667 yards (41.7 per game), 11 TDs, 0 fumbles

Wes Welker – 122 receptions, 1,569 yards, 9 TDs, 0 fumbles

Rob Gronkowski – 90 receptions, 1,327 yards, 17 TDs, 0 fumbles

Jerod Mayo – 95 tackles, 2 INT

Kyle Arrington – 7 INTs, 88 tackles

Andre Carter, Mark Anderson – 10 sacks each

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Tags: Denver Broncos New England Patriots Peyton Manning Tom Brady