New England Patriots’ Defense to Blame for AFC Championship Loss

Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

Coming into Sunday, the New England Patriots’ defense knew they had their hands full. As the game concluded and the Denver Broncos celebrated their AFC Championship and trip to Super Bowl XLVIII, the Patriots playoff run officially ended due to the defense’s inability to stop Peyton Manning.

On the day, Manning threw exactly 400 yards and two touchdowns. Yes, 400 yards. The Patriots gave up only 239 passing yards per game and ranked 18th in the league. When they weren’t horribly defending the pass, New England’s run defense looked like Swiss cheese and Denver’s running backs ran right through the holes. Denver did not run the ball much, but was able to amass 107 yards on 28 carries.

Nonetheless, the defensive play was unable to get key three and outs as it seemed like Tom Brady was leading the Patriots back into the game. While Brady is one of the best, if only one side of the team is doing a good job, the other team usually wins.

Overall, it was a dismal performance by one of the best NFL defenses in the league. As their season comes to an end, the defense will need to work extra hard in the offseason so they don’t repeat history in the future. Unfortunately for New England fans, the defensive mishaps came at the wrong time as Denver’s defense played great football and hassled Brady all game long.

While Denver won due to their defense, the Patriots loss due to their defensive play. It was expected that one of the two teams’ defenses would fail this week. In the end, it was the Patriots.

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  • VinceVB

    This article is ridiculous. First of all, it’s tough to win against any NFL team when your offense scores just 16 points in the game, let alone against the greatest offense in NFL history.

    Second, Denver averaged 38 ppg during the season, and the Patriots defense held them to 26. That’s even after Talib went down in the 1st half, which allowed D. Thomas to go hog-wild on Dennard.

    It should also be noted that the Patriots defense held Denver to 5 fewer points than they did in their regular season game.

    “While Brady is one of the best, if only one side of the team is doing a good job, the other team usually wins.”

    Please.

    Brady wasn’t sharp. He missed a couple deep balls to Slater and Edelman (who was wide open), and Collie down the sideline. It also didn’t help that Terrance Knighton turned Logan Mankins into a subway turn-style.

    The worst thing you can say about the Patriots D is that they got virtually zero pressure on Manning. But this game they did what they had done all year — bend, but don’t break, and give the offense a chance to win. They held Manning and Co. to two touchdowns. The defense did all you ask. It was the offense that lost the game.