The Denver Broncos head back east to take on the New England Patriots on Sunday in a playoff rematch from last January. However the game is really not a rematch, a rematch happens when two teams play each other again and the primary players are the same. That is not the case in this game, the Patriots are roughly the same but the Broncos are taking a completely different team to New England.
It goes without saying that Peyton Manning is a better quarterback then Tim Tebow and that’s not a shot, just an honest statement. In order to compete with teams like the Patriots, you have to beat them playing real football. A Bill Belichick coached team is not going to get beat by gimmicks, and like it or not the Broncos were a gimmick last season. It worked versus some of the lesser teams but Belichick and the Patriots exposed the Broncos. You can be assured that the Patriots are taking the Broncos much more seriously this week than they did last January. The Patriots will still be favorites, and rightfully so playing at home but if the Broncos protect Manning then anything is possible.
In addition to Manning at quarterback, the Broncos have people in the secondary that can cover. The Broncos are not going to stop the Patriots, no one does but they should be able to make a few more plays. Tracy Porter is a huge upgrade at cornerback from Andre Goodman and Chris Harris did not play in the playoff game. The Broncos have three corners who can cover, as opposed to one the last time these two teams played.
The concerns for the Broncos are the linebackers and safeties. It’s not out of the question that the Broncos will be able to take away the Patriots’ receivers on the outside, but they struggle to cover tight ends and Rob Gronkowski is one of the best. As we get closer to the game and start to preview it, we will get more into these matchups.
For now the thing to remember is this, when you hear people talk about a playoff rematch; don’t buy it. The Denver Broncos are taking a real quarterback and a real football team to Foxboro this time.
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