Special Teams Play Could Be Difference Maker In Broncos-Patriots Game


Denver Broncos outside linebacker Nate Irving (56) and strong safety David Bruton (30) react in the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Much has been made of the Broncos’ offense and defense, but this is a three-phase game.

Special teams captain David Bruton knows just how important the unit is come Sunday.

“I feel like there is always some type of vulnerability within a unit,” Bruton said. “Somewhere, we might do something better than what they’re capable of blocking or covering or whatever. We’re going to take advantage of whatever little nuances they may have up, or what they’ve been flawed with all season. We’re just going to go out there and have that attack mentality—go get it, go get it, play hard and balls to the wall.”

Patriots’ punter Ryan Allen is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Whether he’s out there or it’s kicker Stephen Gostkowski, the Patriots have some vulnerability in their punting game.

“We just want to go out there and help our team win,” Bruton said. “If that means we have to go score, so be it, we’ll go score. If we have to go block a punt, block a kick, that is what we’re going to do. We’re always looking for that big play.”

It’s fair to say that the two quarterbacks in the game essentially cancel each other out. It’s also fair to say that the running backs cancel each other out as well. This game could easily be decided on defense and/or special teams.

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