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Old 01-11-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
Rulon Velvet Jones
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Default Scouts Inc: Broncos at Patriots

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/scout...meId=320114017

Broncos-Patriots: 10 observations
By Matt Williamson
Scouts Inc.
Denver at New England
When: 8:00 PM ET
Watch: CBS

Scouts Inc. Position Advantage
QB - NE
RB - NE
WR - NE
OL - NE
DL - DEN
LB - DEN
DB - DEN
ST - NE
Coach - NE


After breaking down film of both teams, Scouts Inc. offers 10 things to watch in the divisional-round playoff matchup between the Broncos and Patriots.


1. Keep the momentum rolling: In the upset of wild card weekend, the Broncos defeated Pittsburgh in overtime. They are playing with house money and really have nothing to lose at this point. Meanwhile, the Patriots have lost their opening playoff game in each of the past two seasons despite very high expectations. The Broncos are operating on a short week for this cross-country road trip, and New England is an extremely difficult place to play. Adding to the intrigue, Josh McDaniels, the former Denver head coach, is back on Bill Belichick's staff. These teams met in Week 15, and the Patriots won 41-23 in Denver. Only the 49ers and Packers had better turnover differentials than New England's plus-17, and the Broncos were among the worst in the league at minus-12.

2. How to label New England's tight ends? The Patriots employ a ton of double-tight end sets. Although Rob Gronkowski is a prototypical two-way tight end, Aaron Hernandez is as much wide receiver as he is tight end. There is not a great way to defend this pair. Tom Brady moves them around the formation with exceptional cunning to best exploit matchups in the Patriots' favor or to open up an advantage for another Patriots skill player. Many teams have brought extra defensive backs on the field to defend New England's 12 (1 RB/2 TE) personnel, but Denver is not especially deep in the secondary. That approach would put a lesser player on the field while putting a better player on the sidelines. This is a huge dilemma for the Broncos.

3. Hit big plays: Passing yards have been very easy to come by against the Patriots. Broncos QB Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards in the wild-card round against a very good Steelers defense. He was as accurate as he's ever been and made good decisions. Tebow averaged more than 30 yards per completion against Pittsburgh. Despite all their issues stopping opposing passing attacks, the Patriots do cause a lot of turnovers and also are much better in the red zone than in the other 80 yards of the field. These defensive traits can make an opponent's yardage much greater than its final point total.

4. Control the game on the ground: The Patriots are also very generous to opposing running backs. When these teams met in Week 15, the Broncos amassed an amazing 167 yards on the ground in just the first quarter and ended the day with 252 rushing yards. But for this matchup, New England will have Brandon Spikes and Patrick Chung, very good run stoppers, back from injury. Any team facing Denver has to be prepared to stop its option attack and Tebow as a run threat. Doing so can be very mentally and physically taxing. New England must be very aware of play-action, which is also a staple of the Denver offense. Vince Wilfork remains an excellent run-stuffer, and the Broncos will have to account for him often with two big blockers when they run on the interior. When these teams met last, fumbles really hurt Denver, which is a recipe for disaster against New England. Running backs are doing little as receivers against New England, but the Broncos backs are not particularly adept in the passing game anyway.

5. Matchup to watch: Broncos QB Tim Tebow vs. Patriots pass rush: Conventional wisdom against Tebow is to rush him very conservatively to keep him in the pocket and make him throw. Pittsburgh tried that, and Tebow made the Steelers pay. Denver didn't allow a sack in the wild-card round. Belichick needs to decide whether he believes Tebow can duplicate that performance. Either way, the Pats should throw a variety of coverages and pressure concepts at the young quarterback. The Patriots' pass defense was better during the regular season when it blitzed, and the Pays really don't have one defender who can be classified as an upper-tier pure pass-rusher.

6. Dominate through the air: New England is extremely efficient in the red zone both with the run game and passing attack. Gronkowski is clearly Brady's top target when the Patriots get near the goal line. No one in the league does it better in those tight quarters than Gronkowski, who finished the regular season with a whopping 1,327 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. Wes Welker is also superb in tight spaces and, despite his smaller stature, is very effective near the goal line. Welker was one of the most targeted receivers in the NFL. How will Denver use CB Champ Bailey against this group of dangerous weapons? Bailey is still playing at a very high level but isn't an ideal matchup against Welker or Gronkowski. He probably would play Hernandez best, and Bailey has matched up exclusively against receiving tight ends like Antonio Gates in the past. Compounding matters for the Broncos, Pats WR Deion Branch appears to be healthy for this game. Given all the other options at Brady's disposal, Branch should see very favorable matchups outside the numbers.

7. Eliminate Thomas at all costs: Top wide receivers have tortured New England. Demaryius Thomas accounted for a whopping 204 receiving yards against Pittsburgh. He is a unique combination of size, power and long speed. Thomas is clearly Tebow's favorite weapon, and rightfully so. But Denver did lose Eric Decker to a knee injury in that game. Thomas is really the only threatening weapon in the Broncos' passing game. Look for Belichick to do everything possible schematically to eliminate Thomas and challenge the other pass-catchers to step up.

8. Get Miller blocked: The Broncos sacked Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger five times, and Broncos rookie LB Von Miller showed his excellent midseason form as a pass-rusher. When Miller plays well, this defense is strong. He's fantastic. Brady is outstanding against the blitz and also moves very well within a cluttered pocket. One of the only weaknesses of Brady's game is his ability outside the pocket, but forcing him into compromising positions is much easier said than done.

9. Be more physical up front: New England isn't known as a physical offense, but don't discount it. The Patriots like to employ a variety of offensive personnel groupings, including using a sixth offensive lineman. The Patriots have had plenty of injuries to their offensive tackles but should be healthier up front in this contest than in recent games.

10. Matchup to watch: Patriots running backs vs. Broncos OLB D.J. Williams: The Patriots are selective in their running game and have a vast stable of ball carriers. Their ground game can be very effective, and they are able to tailor it week to week to their opponent's weaknesses. Williams is an excellent athlete for a second-level defender and should be a decent matchup in the run or pass game against any New England running back. Denver struggled stopping the run in the wild-card round; the Steelers gained 156 rushing yards. In fact, the Broncos have been quite generous to opposing running backs overall. They also allow a lot of running back production in the passing game. The unsung hero of Denver's defensive line and run defense is Brodrick Bunkley. Getting Bunkley blocked will be paramount for the Patriots.


Prediction
Denver 10
New England 30
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
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RB - NE ?

McGahee - 150+ yards
BJGE - 60+ yards

Bank it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
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I love these predictions. Extreme under dogs, nothing to lose, playing with crazy spirit and a city erupting with Orange lava...Broncos are gonna win!
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by OOJack View Post
RB - NE ?

McGahee - 150+ yards
BJGE - 60+ yards

Bank it.
no ****. what a joke. And you have the no. 1 rushing team in the frigging League, and you give the other side the nod on oline. Bulletin board matl. Run it down their throats and hit Tom Terrific till he bleeds.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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ST is clearly in Denver's favor, too.

Matt Prater is head and shoulders above any other kicker in the AFC if not the NFL. And Royal is potentially explosive returning punts. Kickoffs are a non-factor nowadays. Conquitt is also one of the best punters in the AFC.

Who makes these stackrankings?

:facepalm:
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Patriots do have the better running backs, we are 5 deep at the position, we have Ridley who is averaging 5.2 yards a carry, we just don't run the ball as much.

If our running backs were playing for Denver you would be even better at running the football.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #7
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RB - NE ?

McGahee - 150+ yards
BJGE - 60+ yards

Bank it.
I saw that and said wtf ? even with situation running ie meaningful yards ( 3 rd and short goalline ) as opposed to running between the 20's and getting FG , Denver out preforms the pats in all aspects of the running game .... He screwed the pooch on that one .. the rest of his breakdown is just fluff , you wanna pressure every Qb if you can , you want to control the the TOP with the ground game unless your the Saints ......as Hunt said in his breakdown ( very good one I might add ) is the Pats have to play disciplined defense , and we have to use counters and stretch plays to keep em honest
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ClamChowdah View Post
Patriots do have the better running backs, we are 5 deep at the position, we have Ridley who is averaging 5.2 yards a carry, we just don't run the ball as much.

If our running backs were playing for Denver you would be even better at running the football.
2 complete different style of offenses 5.2 in your system doesnt equal 5.2 in ours ..... you guys run spread , we run tight ....Not a running offense for alot of backs ....
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
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I saw that and said wtf ? even with situation running ie meaningful yards ( 3 rd and short goalline ) as opposed to running between the 20's and getting FG , Denver out preforms the pats in all aspects of the running game .... He screwed the pooch on that one .. the rest of his breakdown is just fluff , you wanna pressure every Qb if you can , you want to control the the TOP with the ground game unless your the Saints ......as Hunt said in his breakdown ( very good one I might add ) is the Pats have to play disciplined defense , and we have to use counters and stretch plays to keep em honest
Does that mean your running backs are better then?

Deion Branch had more yards than Demaryius Thomas and Miles Austin, does that mean he is better?
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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Does that mean your running backs at better then?

Deion Branch had more yards than Demaryius Thomas and Miles Austin, does that mean he is better?
Means they are better T2T runners and in our system thats the type of Runner we need , just as an example Clinton Portis in the offense wouldnt last long ...you cant compare ypa with 2 different style of offenses ,just doesnt work
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #11
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Means they are better T2T runners and in our system thats the type of Runner we need , just as an example Clinton Portis in the offense wouldnt last long ...you cant compare ypa with 2 different style of offenses ,just doesnt work
Guess what, when you run the ball 50 times a game any running back can gain yards.

McGahee is old and can barely stay healthy, he'll probably be gone next season.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:35 AM   #12
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Deion Branch had more yards than Demaryius Thomas and Miles Austin, does that mean he is better?
LMAO really ? why dont you compare wr with another passing team ie saints for example
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #13
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Guess what, when you run the ball 50 times a game any running back can gain yards.

McGahee is old and can barely stay healthy, he'll probably be gone next season.
t not talking about next year goofball , talking about this coming game , will worry about Willis and next year when we get there ......
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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LMAO not to sure what next year has to do with this coming up game and Denver having the better running back for our system .........
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #15
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Patriots do have the better running backs, we are 5 deep at the position, we have Ridley who is averaging 5.2 yards a carry, we just don't run the ball as much.

If our running backs were playing for Denver you would be even better at running the football.
Ridley is a young back who can't catch or work in pass pro. He's a liability in as many ways as he's a positive.

BJGE is a solid all around back who excites no one.

Woodhead is a scat back who catches well but this season has been unable to show any of the wiggle he had in his first few Pats games last year, and as a result has not been putting up much after he gets the ball, running or receiving.

Faulk and Vereen are both lesser versions of one of the aforementioned backs. Faulk is BJGE with worse running instincts and a better hands, but he scares no one. Vereen is a poor man's woodhead with the same failings.

Meanwhile Willis McGahee is head and shoulders above the rest and is a workhorse 20+ carries a game back. Ball isn't anything special, comparable to what Faulk has been the last several years when healthy. Johnson is similar to Ridley, able to roll of some big yards but inconsistent at everything else and therefore sees only selective use.

The gap between McGahee and the field is so damn large that it makes all else irrelevant. If Moreno was still healthy he'd be the #2 back in this game and Ball was challenging him for carries pre-injury. That underscores how the gap between BJGE and Ball is smaller than the gap between McGahee and BJGE.

Half a dozen mediocre backs and one standout. I'll ride with the standout, thanks.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:54 AM   #16
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Ridley is a young back who can't catch or work in pass pro. He's a liability in as many ways as he's a positive.

BJGE is a solid all around back who excites no one.

Woodhead is a scat back who catches well but this season has been unable to show any of the wiggle he had in his first few Pats games last year, and as a result has not been putting up much after he gets the ball, running or receiving.

Faulk and Vereen are both lesser versions of one of the aforementioned backs. Faulk is BJGE with worse running instincts and a better hands, but he scares no one. Vereen is a poor man's woodhead with the same failings.

Meanwhile Willis McGahee is head and shoulders above the rest and is a workhorse 20+ carries a game back. Ball isn't anything special, comparable to what Faulk has been the last several years when healthy. Johnson is similar to Ridley, able to roll of some big yards but inconsistent at everything else and therefore sees only selective use.

The gap between McGahee and the field is so damn large that it makes all else irrelevant. If Moreno was still healthy he'd be the #2 back in this game and Ball was challenging him for carries pre-injury. That underscores how the gap between BJGE and Ball is smaller than the gap between McGahee and BJGE.

Half a dozen mediocre backs and one standout. I'll ride with the standout, thanks.
BJGE has zero career fumbles, McGahee loves to put the ball on the ground.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:55 AM   #17
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BJGE has zero career fumbles, McGahee loves to put the ball on the ground.
so this all of the sudden makes BJGE a better T2T runner then Willis ?
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:07 AM   #18
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Patriots do have the better running backs, we are 5 deep at the position, we have Ridley who is averaging 5.2 yards a carry, we just don't run the ball as much.

If our running backs were playing for Denver you would be even better at running the football.
I understand you're bandwagon Pats fan, but do realize how big of an idiot you make yourself look?

I'd put money on the fact that the only reason you're posting on Broncos forums is that your Pats forums ripped you so much for being being a fool that you couldn't take it anymore...how does that make you feel? Your own fanbase hates you!
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #19
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I understand you're bandwagon Pats fan, but do realize how big of an idiot you make yourself look?

I'd put money on the fact that the only reason you're posting on Broncos forums is that your Pats forums ripped you so much for being being a fool that you couldn't take it anymore...how does that make you feel? Your own fanbase hates you!
Well come Saturday night you won't have to worry about playoff football and who has the better backs, it'll be back to the draft talk and being irrelevant like the past 10 years.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:17 AM   #20
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2. How to label New England's tight ends? The Patriots employ a ton of double-tight end sets. Although Rob Gronkowski is a prototypical two-way tight end, Aaron Hernandez is as much wide receiver as he is tight end. There is not a great way to defend this pair. Tom Brady moves them around the formation with exceptional cunning to best exploit matchups in the Patriots' favor or to open up an advantage for another Patriots skill player. Many teams have brought extra defensive backs on the field to defend New England's 12 (1 RB/2 TE) personnel, but Denver is not especially deep in the secondary. That approach would put a lesser player on the field while putting a better player on the sidelines. This is a huge dilemma for the Broncos.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:19 AM   #21
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I think my theory is pretty accurate. Here's some of your posts on a Bucs forum of all places:
http://www.bbs.tbaybucs.com/index.ph...s/page__st__30
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ClamChowdah: This is the problem with the Bucs, ya'll soft, too much time in the sun, on the Pats board we swear as much as we want while we eat our chowdah.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:19 AM   #22
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Out of curiosity, what was the Steelers game prediction?
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:21 AM   #23
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I think my theory is pretty accurate. Here's some of your posts on a Bucs forum of all places:
http://www.bbs.tbaybucs.com/index.ph...s/page__st__30
I've never posted on the Bucs forum.

How do i know you didn't just go and register there and post?
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:22 AM   #24
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what a joke!
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:22 AM   #25
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And a Steelers Forum:
http://www.steelernation.com/forums/...ast-Play/page2

Quote:
ClamChowdah: You should be careful how much you gloat, i remember how i did after we beat the Jets 45-3 in the regular season, Karma works in funny ways.
The funny thing here, I agree with you, Karma does work in funny ways...like how easily it is to own you.
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