01-10-2006, 09:24 AM
First Pro Denver Article I have Seen.
01-10-2006, 10:37 AM
This isn't exactly "pro-Denver" since it's a Boston article, but they give the Broncos plenty of respect:
Forget the cliche about Denver wanting to “establish the run” against the Patriots.
It’s already been firmly established.
The Broncos are widely regarded as the best running team in the NFL. It’s the reason their formerly mistake-prone quarterback, Jake Plummer, has been able to play conservatively (seven interceptions this season), and their defense has been able to stay fresh enough to allow the third-fewest points in the league (16.1 per game). It’s the reason the Broncos enjoyed a coveted first-round bye and are favored against the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots Saturday night in Denver.
Ignore everything else you hear this week. The Pats’ ability to stop the Broncos’ stretch running attack is the axis on which the game will turn. Next to that, nothing else matters.
“They’re the best running team in the league, without a doubt,” said Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line coach Ray Hamilton, whose unit gave up 188 yards on the ground to the Broncos in a 20-7 defeat in October. “They’re the best we’ve faced.”
The tenets of the Broncos’ scheme are well-known to the Pats. The running backs (Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Ron Dayne) are allowed only one cut per run, and it’s almost always against the grain. Up front, the offensive line tries to stretch out the defense on the front side and cut down pursuers on the back side. It’s simple, but the Broncos execute it with mind-numbing proficiency, ranking second in the league in attempts (34) and yards (159) per game.
“That team is nasty, and you get tired of being in second-and-5 and second-and-4 all the time,” one player said. “They wear (you) down.”
In the past three meetings between the teams dating to the 2002 season, the Patriots have allowed the Broncos to rush for 178, 114 and 136 yards. In Denver’s 28-20 win Oct. 16, the Broncos averaged 5.2 yards per carry and picked up 178 yards and 10 first downs on the ground. They also gashed the Pats for a 68-yard run by Bell during which Wilfork took himself way out of the play at the snap, and the entire back side of the front seven seemed to get cut. That play might have been the nadir for the run defense this season.
As if the running game wasn’t enough to worry about, the Pats also have to figure out a way to slow down another nemesis, Broncos receiver Rod Smith.
Smith has hurt the Pats as badly during his career as any player in the game. And what has galled the Pats coaching staff as much as anything is that he often has done it against double-teams. In five games against Bill Belichick’s Pats, Smith has 36 catches for 554 yards with eye-popping averages of 7.2 catches and 110.8 yards.
A large percentage of those catches came on crossing routes, another key part of the Denver attack. It’s how the Broncos complement the stretch play, along with Plummer’s ability to bootleg into space. . . .
You can’t knock Denver the same way you did the Jaguars in terms of their schedule strength. While the Jags beat up on a soft schedule, the Broncos played 10 games against teams with winning records and were 7-3, the best record in the NFL. The Pats were 4-6 against winning opponents.
01-10-2006, 11:51 AM
Not a positve article, just not bias toward NE. Gives a nice summary of us.
01-10-2006, 11:55 AM
Everyone in the NFL knows what the Broncos bring to the table - and they keep doing it anyway.
01-10-2006, 01:17 PM
Posative? if thats the best we could find, that stadium better be shaking like the good ol' days for four quarters! What a crock!