Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws a pass against New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots meet again in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Championship Game which was held in Denver, Colorado. Denver went on to defeat New England by the final score of 26-16, with Peyton Manning passing for over 400 yards and two touchdown passes.
Denver played New England last season in Foxboro — resulting in a 34-31 overtime loss. It’s not the Patriots who beat the Broncos, it was the Broncos who beat themselves that night on Sunday Night Football. Up 24-0 at the half, Denver was in the drivers seat but let off the gas. Not to mention, Denver fumbled the ball five times throughout the game, recovering only two of them.
What: NFL Week 9 Preview: Denver Broncos (6-1) vs. New England Patriots (6-2)
When: Sunday, November 2nd
Where: Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, Massachusetts)
Time: 4:25 PM EST, 2:25 PM MST
Denver is coming off a dominating performance against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a night he wouldn’t forget, catching nine passes for 120 yards, including three touchdowns. Running back Ronnie Hillman continues to take advantage of his opportunity as the starting running back, collecting his second 100-yard rushing game of the season.
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The defense was spectatular for the most part – especially the run-defense. Denver held San Diego to 61 yards on 15 attempts – 17 of those yards coming from a Phillip Rivers scramble in the second half. Branden Oliver was held to 36 yards on 13 carries which is an average of 2.8 yards per carry.
New England on the other hand is playing pretty well of late and we all know they excel while playing at home. This past Sunday, they took it to the dismantled Chicago Bears, putting up a 51 spot — 51-23 victory. A key player to focus on Sunday afternoon is Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski. ‘Gronk’ caught nine passes from Tom Brady against Chicago, totaling 149 yards and three touchdowns. If Denver can get that pass-rush on Brady and limit Gronkowski, I personally think they’ll be fine.
Denver’s passing game going toe-to-toe against New England’s secondary will be a matchup to watch out for. Denver currently ranks third in the NFL in terms of passing yards, collecting 297.0 yards through the air while New England ranks second against the pass, allowing just 210.9 yards. The Patriots have a vast amount of cornerbacks to use, such as Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Alfonzo Dennard, Kyle Arrington, and Logan Ryan.
Also, Denver’s defense is completely different then what New England saw last season. Denver’s new additions such as Aqib Talib (former Patriot), T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware, and the return of Rahim Moore, make this defense more dynamic and elite if you will.
This to me is the game of the week and should be a treat to football fans everywhere. Remember, kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 PM EST, 2:25 PM MST on CBS.