Tom Brady is kinda good. The dude had three Super Bowl rings before he was as old as rookie Quarterback Brandon Weeden. He is on the short list for best Quarterback, and player, ever. So in order to beat the Patriots you have to beat Tom Brady, and over time that has not proven to be an easy task.
So how do you make America’s Golden Boy shake in his Uggs? Bring some pressure. Brady goes from a otherworldly laser-throwing uber-Quarterback to a mere mortal with pressure in his face (albeit a mere mortal who goes home to Gisele). In 2011, Brady averaged only 3.8 yards per pass with pressure in his face, as opposed to 8.9 yards per pass with time to throw. The only problem is that Brady was only under pressure on 20.6% of his passes, which ranked 6th among all Quarterbacks with 250 or more attempts (all stats via Football Outsiders Almanac 2011).
Enter the Broncos defense. Not to go all Liam Neeson on you, but the Broncos have a very particular set of skills, skills that make them a nightmare for people like Brady. The Broncos have a two bookend edge rushers in Von “The Don” Miller and Elvis Dumervil that are as good as anyone at channeling their inner hamburger and finding a place in the Quarterback’s grill. If the Broncos can consistently get to Brady and make his life miserable, the Peyton Manning led-offense has more than enough firepower to make this thing a shootout. I’m putting my faith in the Broncos to turn up the heat in what should be a cold night in Massachusetts, keeping the game close enough so Manning can work some late game magic to pull out the W.
DEN 34 NE 31
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Written by Brandon Keller