The Denver Broncos are on pace to break plenty of offensive records this season. Records that were set by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots just a few years ago. This Sunday, those same Patriots will have the opportunity to put a dent in the gaudy numbers that Peyton Manning and the Denver offense have been accumulating. But, that won’t be an easy task if the secondary can’t get healthy in time for the primetime matchup.
A group that came into the season with more talent on paper in almost a decade, the New England secondary was finally ready to be a bright spot, and not a burden, for a team that was going to need to rely on the defense more than they were used to. Things were going well this year until injuries started to mount.
Both starting cornerbacks, Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard, are listed as questionable and haven’t been their usual selves in weeks. Both Talib and Dennard shine in man coverage, but with injuries slowing them down they won’t be able to lock down the talented Denver receivers. And, if you can’t slow down the receivers, then the Denver offense will roll all over the banged-up Patriots’ defense.
New England doesn’t have the firepower to keep pace with a Denver offense that is firing on all cylinders. If they want to have any hope of taking down the Broncos they will need the defense to at least keep them from running away with the game. No defense has been able to stop the Denver offense completely, but to beat them you at least need to keep the score down to a manageable level.
Bill Belichick has had success stopping Manning in the past, but only when he had playmakers in the secondary. If the defensive backs aren’t healthy and ready to go on Sunday night, the Patriots won’t have any chance to get the win.