Tom Brady looks to bring the New England Patriots to a 7-2 record in an upcoming matchup at Sports Authority Field at Mile High this Sunday Night. The Denver Broncos have been struggling, but this is not an easy game for the Patriots to walk away with a win.
Brady Faces The Patriots Greatest Weakness Sunday Night
Brady’s Struggles Against Denver
Brady has a winning record against every NFL team besides the Denver Broncos. He has a 6-9 record against Denver, including the playoffs, mainly because of their pass rush. A prime example would be the AFC Championship game in 2015 when Brady was sacked four times. Von Miller, 29 years old, is still the leader of the defense today for the Broncos with eight sacks on the season.
The New England Patriots offensive line has had problems through the first half of the season. Brady has been sacked 21 times heading into week 10. Last season, Brady was only sacked a total of 15 times through his 12 games played in the regular season.
Getting pressure against Tom Brady and forcing him to move around in the pocket is key for a defense to beat the Patriots offense. The Broncos have been able to do that to Tom throughout his career against Denver. Brady’s completion percentage is under 60 against the Broncos for that reason alone. The secondary’s coverage is a factor as well, but the majority of the credit has to go to the front seven for getting to Brady in the backfield.
Despite his poor completion percentage against Denver, Brady does have a decent touchdown to interception ratio. Brady has 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions against the Broncos. He has come to love finding his tight end Rob Gronkowski in the end zone on several occasions.
As of Thursday night, Gronk won’t be the only TE that Denver will have to worry about covering. Martellus Bennett was claimed off of waivers by the Pats after the Green Bay Packers released him. Bennett is suffering from a shoulder injury but was participating in Friday’s practice (seems a bit ominous). If the Patriots have the duel TE offense going, the Broncos may not be able to rush as many players at Brady.
Impact Of The Bye Week
It’s going to be a battle of the best this Sunday Night. Brady is the league leader in passing yards through the first nine weeks of the season. However, the Broncos defense allows the fewest yards per game in the NFL (minus a disastrous week 9 game against the Eagles in Philadelphia).
The Broncos have been struggling as of late, but it is mostly on their offensive performance and the constant question mark at the quarterback position.
Last week, the defense gave up 51 points, but to the Philadelphia Eagles who have the best record in football. It all seemed to really go downhill for Denver after their bye week during week 5. Prior to the bye, they had a 3-1 record. After the bye, they have a 0-4 record with their offense only averaging 13 points per game. Even if their defense is playing their best football, it is a tough to win an NFL game only scoring 13 points.
On the other hand, the Patriots are coming off a bye week and history shows that is bad news for Denver. Since 2003, the Pats have the best win percentage coming off of a bye week, including playoffs. Their record is 20-4 after the bye, the best record in football for that category.
Tough At Home
Playing in Denver is tough for any opponent because of the altitude. Adding a tough defense who likes to blitz often is going to be a difficult task for Bill Belichick’s Patriots. The Broncos only have one home loss on the season falling to the New York Giants 23-10. They have a 3-1 home record, so they are more than capable of protecting their home turf.
Denver will look to end their four-game losing skid and improve to 4-5 on the season with a win against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. It will be up to their defense to slow down Brady and the high powered New England offense in order for this to become a reality.
The Patriots hope to keep their season heading in the right direction with a win, along with a Pittsburgh Steelers loss, to overtake the number one seed in the AFC.