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oldrover
01-10-2006, 12:58 PM
Here's a c&p from the Providence Journal, since you have to register at the site:

Tom Curran: Patriots' task in Denver tougher than it would be in Indianapolis

01:00 AM EST on Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Kimo von Oelhoffen. Remember the name. There's a good chance he altered NFL history Sunday. Had the Steelers defensive end not landed with suspicious accuracy on the leg of Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer early in Pittsburgh's win, then the Patriots probably would be playing in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Instead, they go to Denver. If the Patriots are going to become the first team to win three straight Super Bowls, this will be their stiffest test.

Since the Patriots' current reign of dominance began, there were only two games in which I didn't like their chances. The first was against the Raiders in the Snow Bowl. I didn't think they would win that game. As you may recall, they did. But it was, ah, kinda close.

The other was in the 2003 AFC Divisional Playoff against the Titans. I felt it was a coin flip as to who'd win. Again, it came down to the final seconds.

I don't like the Patriots' chances against the Broncos, either. Indy would have been a much kinder destination.

Start with trying to win in Denver. Nobody did it during this regular season . . . including the Patriots, who fell behind, 28-3, on Oct. 16 and wound up losing, 28-20. It's as hard to compete there as any venue in the league.

Then move on to the Denver coaching staff. In head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, you have two of the league's best offensive strategists.

The Patriots' defense has performed remarkably well in the last six games because its front seven has overwhelmed quarterbacks, running games and offensive lines. Denver brings a better quarterback than the Patriots have seen, and the league's best running game. They are going to take and land more shots on the Patriots' secondary than any of the Pats' last six opponents combined. And with two really good receivers -- Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie -- they are going to hit some. Giving Shanahan and Kubiak two weeks to prepare and install schemes for New England won't work in the Patriots' favor.

I'm well aware of all the players New England didn't have in October. And Denver did exactly what one would figure it would do to a diminished Pats team: Go ahead by 25 points after 35 minutes.

The return of Richard Seymour and Tedy Bruschi and the now-brilliant play of Rosey Colvin, Vince Wilfork, Willie McGinest and Mike Vrabel will make a giant difference. This game will be closer. But Denver's running game (2,539 yards) gets it in second-and-favorable so often that the Patriots won't be able to go after Plummer with the same gusto. And when they do, they will be trying to get past an offensive line that protects (23 sacks allowed) very well and chase down a mobile quarterback who threw only seven picks all year.

As for the Patriots against Denver's defense, there will be plays for Tom Brady to make. Probably not as many as there would be if they were playing the Colts, but there will be plays out there. The worrying aspect of that is that the Patriots are not playing offense with the kind of consistency they need to. Too many missed passes, dropped passes, three-and-outs and one-yard gains. You can skate with that against a team that's not an offensive threat itself -- the Jaguars, Jets or Bills, to name three. Against Denver in Denver? You don't want to go three-and-out too often.

It would be better for the Patriots in Indy. Even though their meeting with the Colts got out of hand, they were neck-and-neck with them until Corey Dillon's late first-half fumble. Indy's defense is overrated, and a favorable matchup for the Patriots because it's undersized. Against the Colts, the Pats could have done some business.

As for the Colts' offense, obviously it's brilliant. But the Pats' pass rush would know where to find Peyton Manning. And Manning, terrific as he is, still hasn't proven a New England defense with a strong front seven won't get inside his head.

Maybe Manning still will get a chance to put that notion to rest. Maybe the Patriots once again will get a chance to make Manning shrug and flail and grimmace, just like old times. But because Kimo von Oelhoffen helped send the Patriots to Denver, there's a good chance we'll never find out.

-----

Just so you Denver yahoos don't think everyone in NE is banking on a win Saturday. :D We love our Pats... but we DO live in reality.

AsianOrange
01-10-2006, 01:07 PM
I don't think the Bronco fans think the Patriots are going to walk over the Broncos but some experts are leaving the Broncos for dead...

It's going to be a slow week till Saturday night.

PatrickdaDookie
01-10-2006, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the article. I'd like to believe most of us here live in reality as well. I, for one, am really worried about the Patriots' blitz. Y'all don't blitz often, but when you do, it usually hurts.

oldrover
01-10-2006, 01:11 PM
I don't think the Bronco fans think the Patriots are going to walk over the Broncos but some experts are leaving the Broncos for dead...

Some stupid experts. How do you ignore the Broncos AT HOME? Hell, the last time WE beat you here, you didn't have your QB or your kicker playing, and we just barely pulled it out.

OTOH, when we won at Indy 2 years ago, we were up 31-10, and then let them back into it.

I agree with Curran: we'd have a better shot at Indy than in your backyard. Should be a good game.

GoPatsGo
01-10-2006, 01:12 PM
oldrover...you're fired!

GoPatsGo
01-10-2006, 01:17 PM
Yeah Curran picked us to lose in the playoffs the last two times. Shows how much he knows.

"No worries!...I'll take Tom Brady's post season percentage over Tom Curran's"

-Drew--WHO

taken from Patriots Forum

oldrover
01-10-2006, 01:19 PM
I'm more worried about our offense in this one, than our defense. I think we can hold Denver to 20 points... but I'm not sure whether we can outscore them. The offense sputtered for a lot of the Jax game.

BroncosorBust
01-10-2006, 01:20 PM
oldrover...you're fired!

LOL, you go oldrover. You are the sanest Pat's fan I've seen grace this board. Here is to a good game :beer:

oldrover
01-10-2006, 01:24 PM
I'll drink to that. :beer: No injuries, either. Don't want either side to get 'Carson Palmered'. :eek: Especially when the survivor has to kick some Colts hind quarters. :D

BANJOPICKER1
01-10-2006, 01:30 PM
Good read,I am handing out copys to the pats fans here,,,wooooo hoooo!

GoPatsGo
01-10-2006, 01:31 PM
I'm more worried about our offense in this one, than our defense. I think we can hold Denver to 20 points... but I'm not sure whether we can outscore them. The offense sputtered for a lot of the Jax game.

We did get off to a slow start against Jax...however I don't see that happening against Denver this time around. We know it;s going to be a battle and the boys will bring it from the opening kickoff.

I wouldn't worry about our offense. You have Brady at the helm and the explosive Kevin Faulk back not to mention some of the best receivers in the league and a great tight end in Watson.

It's the Denver fans who should be worried! :D

PS - enough with providing Denver fans with reasons to be "confident!" who's side are you on, anyway! :duh:

oldrover
01-10-2006, 01:42 PM
Dude, I'm rooting for the Pats all the way. :D Just being reasonable. There's plenty of pro-Pats stuff out there... don't wanna get overconfident. Hope the boys in Foxboro won't either.

GoPatsGo
01-10-2006, 01:49 PM
I hear ya... as a Pats fan you know that Bill Belichick would never let them get over confident - even if they were playing the Jets. Besides, it's just not their style. They are true competitors. Everyone knows that Denver is a very tough opponent - especially at home.

So.CalBRONCOFAN
01-10-2006, 02:42 PM
hmmmmm, good article...

bronc_fan23
01-10-2006, 04:20 PM
gotta love being home :beer:

greatpilgrimNE
01-10-2006, 04:50 PM
see, there - you're getting respect even from NE writers Denver :D