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  • Injuries

    The hardest part to figure out with this game is that both teams have been juggling injuries since our first meeting, making it hard to weigh 2 things: recent injuries they haven't had time to adjust to, and recently recovered players coming back. If we look at each unit:

    NE's defense: they lost 4 top guys (2 DT's and 2 LB's), but most of that happened early and they've adjusted to those losses. They also had many of their DB's nicked up in mid year but all of them are now pretty healthy. So this unit has been getting stronger each week for the past month. A lot of very good players, the fastest and youngest Patriots D I've seen in a long time. They're not getting steamrolled Sunday, and they will likely force a TO or two.

    NE's offense: they've lost their all-world TE and pro-bowl RT. The OL has adjusted to the Vollmer loss but there's no adjusting to Gronk's loss except to totally change your offense which they've been doing. They've also had recent injuries to all 3 rookie WR's - 1 to IR and the other two are week to week (Dobson and Thompkins, both of whom had limited practice yesterday). If those 2 guys are ready to play it will make a big difference to NE's passing game, that's a key variable.

    Denver's offense: they lost their centers and LT, but the Oline has had time to adjust and they're working effectively both in protection and running. All their many key skill players are ready to go.

    Denver's defense: losing a top CB like Harris just last week does not give the Broncos D time to adjust to life without him. Also there aren't any notable guys like Wolfe coming back.

    So right now Denver's offense and NE's defense are stable injury-wise and playing very well. That should be a great battle.

    But NE's offense and Denver's defense are both unstable injury wise, with many moving parts and questions going into Sunday.

    also, Special teams: for NE, their punter was injured last week and he better be ready of that's going to be a huge problem. Excellent punter and is the holder as well. Harris' loss will have an impact on coverage teams but I wouldn't think that's a big factor.

  • #2
    Yeah It's tough to say. Last time we played we didn't have Julius Thomas and DRC was knocked out of the game early. You guys had some pieces then (Gronk, Spikes) that you have since lost as well. Losing Harris is a big blow. And Miller was one of the reasons we were doing well early in our last game. Losing Kevin Vickerson is a big blow as well. Our pass rush since both went down to injury has been below average.

    One thing I have noticed is that since both teams have lost guys all year, both sides have been good at changing up their approach all year. For us it has even been our head coach. I think since this game is in our house, having a fully healthy defense is more of an advantage than a totally healthy offense. But that's why we play the games.

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    • #3
      I think the Harris injury does hurt, but otherwise it's an even playing field for both teams.

      Whichever wins is going to have a hard time in the SB. Neither SF or SEA have had to deal with the injuries the AFC contenders have, but, then again, they don't have Manning or Brady under center!

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      • #4
        Wolf is on IR.

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        • #5
          Apparently Thursday is the day the nice Patriots posters show up.

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          • #6
            No mention of the Broncos losing Von Miller, Kevin Vickerson, or Rahim Moore.

            Yeah you're dialed in bro!

            Also, our center has been our center since OTA's.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kaylore View Post
              Apparently Thursday is the day the nice Patriots posters show up.
              In contrast to the KC idiots and Bob's various trolling accounts...it's awesome.

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              • #8
                absentees have been well documented, this remains a chess game of each team using its best remaining players to maximize their own strengths and attack the opponents weaknesses.
                of course ball security is going to be critical in a game of this magnitude.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kaylore View Post
                  Yeah It's tough to say. Last time we played we didn't have Julius Thomas and DRC was knocked out of the game early. You guys had some pieces then (Gronk, Spikes) that you have since lost as well. Losing Harris is a big blow. And Miller was one of the reasons we were doing well early in our last game. Losing Kevin Vickerson is a big blow as well. Our pass rush since both went down to injury has been below average.

                  One thing I have noticed is that since both teams have lost guys all year, both sides have been good at changing up their approach all year. For us it has even been our head coach. I think since this game is in our house, having a fully healthy defense is more of an advantage than a totally healthy offense. But that's why we play the games.
                  what a respectful response.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by crush17 View Post
                    No mention of the Broncos losing Von Miller, Kevin Vickerson, or Rahim Moore.

                    Yeah you're dialed in bro!

                    Also, our center has been our center since OTA's.
                    I'm not logging every injury or comparing who has lost the most. I think we can agree it's a bad list on both sides, enough quantity and quality to populate a Pro-bowl roster just about.

                    Just saying that there is still injury turbulence on NE's O and Denver's D that make it impossible to predict how either of those units will perform. Either or both could be fine, OK, or bad.

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                    • #11
                      Here is a roster composed of DEN, NE, and GB players who either finished the season on IR or missed at least 4 games to injury:

                      QB: Aaron Rogers, Seneca Wallace
                      RB: Shane Vereen, C.J. Anderson
                      WR: Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Wes Welker, Randall Cobb
                      TE: Rob Gronkowski, Jermichael Finley
                      LT: Ryan Clady, Bryan Baluga
                      LG: Tyronne Green
                      C: Dan Koppen
                      RG: Chris Kuper
                      RT: Sebastian Vollmer


                      DL: Derrick Wolfe, Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Kevin Vickerson, Jerel Worthy
                      OLB: Von Miller, Clay Mathews
                      MLB: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes
                      CB: Champ Bailey, Chris Harris, Casey Hayward
                      SS: Adrian Wilson
                      FS: Rahim Moore

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                      • #12
                        I am not too worried about the game. I think we win.
                        Now if DRC or Bailey goes down then we have a problem but outside of that I have no issue with feeling that we will win.

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                        • #13
                          Broncos will crush the Pats Sunday! We are going to the Superbowl!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mwill07 View Post
                            Here is a roster composed of DEN, NE, and GB players who either finished the season on IR or missed at least 4 games to injury:

                            QB: Aaron Rogers, Seneca Wallace
                            RB: Shane Vereen, C.J. Anderson
                            WR: Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Wes Welker, Randall Cobb
                            TE: Rob Gronkowski, Jermichael Finley
                            LT: Ryan Clady, Bryan Baluga
                            LG: Tyronne Green
                            C: Dan Koppen
                            RG: Chris Kuper
                            RT: Sebastian Vollmer


                            DL: Derrick Wolfe, Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Kevin Vickerson, Jerel Worthy
                            OLB: Von Miller, Clay Mathews
                            MLB: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes
                            CB: Champ Bailey, Chris Harris, Casey Hayward
                            SS: Adrian Wilson
                            FS: Rahim Moore
                            That is one hell of a team. That defense would be one of the best in the league. Pass rush would be down right scary.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 40yrpatsfan View Post
                              I'm not logging every injury or comparing who has lost the most. I think we can agree it's a bad list on both sides, enough quantity and quality to populate a Pro-bowl roster just about.

                              Just saying that there is still injury turbulence on NE's O and Denver's D that make it impossible to predict how either of those units will perform. Either or both could be fine, OK, or bad.
                              The defense adjusted but you can never discount how guys like Wilfork give the Broncos fits. Him and Gronk might be the 2 worst guys to not have vs the Broncos outside of Brady.

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