Originally Posted by baja
I agree with Let's Go Broncos. The defense we had for that first game in no way resembles what we have now. We knew the team needed time to gel and we have done that in spades. We also will be ready for that super fast no huddle this time around. JDR has got this.
the defense played well enough to win, IMO. the blame chiefly lies with the three TOs and general insouciance of the offense for the majority of the game. there were four long scoring drives from NE that resulted in 24 points, all of which involved a 3rd-and-long conversion, some more maddening than others:
3rd and 8 on first TD drive (Brady to Lloyd for nine yards)
3rd and 10 on second TD drive (Brady to Welker for 14 yards)
3rd and 14 on drive resulting in FG (Brady to Woodhead for 25 yards)
3rd and 17 to get to 24 points (Brady to Woodhead for 19 yards)
The last TD came off a PFM fumble inside the Denver 20.
NE had no business converting those 3rd-and-10+. Both of those conversions were to Woodhead, so there's a certain LB we all have in mind who was probably the responsible party. Take those 10 points off the board, as well as the gift of a TO inside the Denver red zone, and NE could have plausibly been held to ~2TD. Denver scored 21 without really catching any kind of stride, and while committing two turnovers past the Manning fumble. The DT one to open the game was brutal.
I think you're right when you allude to personnel between then and now. Sub out one man and it's possible this was a different ballgame, despite the stalled offensive effort from the Bronx.