The Broncos had a great run this year behind controversial second QB Tim Tebow. They went on a 6 game winning streak in the regular season to qualify for the playoffs after a number of late game heroics by Mr. Tebow and then beat the Stealers in OT for an improbable first round playoff victory. Unfortunately, the party ended Saturday.
New England made the Broncos look like a blind man in a cage fight. It was a football beat-down. Everyone knew coming into the game that the chances of another Denver victory were about as likely as Ron Paul being elected president, but no one could help but buy up all the Tebow jerseys and pray.
Tom Brady as a way of putting numbers on the board and making “Elect Ron Paul” bumper stickers look more cute than presidential. Brady threw 5 TD passes in the first half, 6 overall to entirely squash Tebow frenzy and give the Patriots a 45-10 play-off victory.
The Patriots jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter and by half time it was already over with New England up 35-7. Ouch. I hope the Tebow loyalists found something positive in the loss to build on because no one else will. Tebow’s weaknesses were awkwardly being paralleled to Brady’s strength. Brady’s ability to reach defenses quickly, sit in the pocket, and deliver the ball on a rope with his quick release looked like the stuff of an NFL QB. Tebow’s poor reads of linebackers, inability to decipher defenses and slow loopy delivery of the ball couldn’t cut it.
The concern for the Patriots has never been their high-powered offense. With Brady leading the way going 26-34 in the air for 363 yards, 6 TDs, and only 1 INT coach Bellichick can relax. Plus, Brady’s got a variety of lethal weapons the deliver the ball to. He’s got Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Welker who usually handle most of the receiving duties with aplomb. This combination ripped through the league for over 5,000 receiving yards this year.
The weakness of New England is clearly their defense. It speaks volumes as to how pathetically inept Denver’s offensive attack is when even they can’t exploit New England’s defense. The Patriots simply need faster, younger, more talented players on D. With that said, New England’s defense played great on Saturday. Inexplicably, the patriots got incredible pressure on the QB and it wasn’t simply because Tebow was holding the ball too long. The Patriot defense looked like they were playing possessed recording 5 sacks and essentially living in Denver’s backfield. The most impressive part was even with this aggressive pass-rush, New England maintained a disciplined approach and stifled the Bronco run as well.
Overall, this was a complete Patriot domination on both sides of the ball. Now the question remains can the pull this type of performance off again next week.
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