NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed
That game lived up to all of its hype, for Patriots fans at least.
I was very nervous going into this game, but I also knew that the Patriots matched up against the Broncos about as well as any team in the league. As all football fans know, sometimes stats and logic get thrown out the window, especially when it involves Tim Tebow.
Well, this time it didn’t. A very scary first quarter quickly turned into a very encouraging, turnover filled second half eventually leading to a hat and t-shirt game!
Here are some notes from the game:
-Patriots passing yards against per game will finally take a hit after this one. Tebow threw for 194 yards and the Broncos only totaled 141 yards passing with sacks taken into consideration.
-Two of my favorite Patriots players had huge games today, Mark Anderson and Aaron Hernandez
-Anderson finished with two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. If Andre Carter’s injury is as bad as it seemed, he’ll be playing a full time role moving forward. That could be real blessing from a pass rush perspective. Carter is a great pass rusher, but Anderson is even better. If Spikes and Chung can come back, that could make up for the loss we’ll see in run defense. Carter’s injury might not be as bad as we all think.
-Aaron Hernandez proved that he can break out in his own right when Gronk is being covered heavily. Hernandez had 9 receptions on 11 targets for 129 yards and a make it rain celebration (aka TD).
-The Patriots didn’t completely shut down the Broncos run offense after the first half, but they were able to contain it enough. The switch to the 3-4 after Carter went down might have actually been a blessing in disguise.
-The Eric Moore signing looks pretty big now, it was nice to see him and Gerard Warren in on some plays.
-Kyle Arrington got burned by Demaryius Thomas a couple of times, but Devin McCourty was really able to shut down Eric Decker. His last 6 quarters of football have been great.
-Three turnovers to zero, four penalties-30 yards to seven penalties-39 yards. Those things will lead to a victory.
-Kyle Love reacted to my mock draft of taking two defensive linemen like an animal. If he keeps today’s kind of play up, the Patriots won’t need to take a DT in the 2012 draft.
-Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead ran very impressively today. Woodhead is a great RB when the Pats go no huddle. I hope the Pats keep that up in the playoffs.
-Edelman and Slater had great games in special teams coverage today. Very underrated aspect of this win.
-Ochocinco scored! We’ve been waiting for it all year, granted he was only really effective in the first quarter, but the Patriots finally got him involved.
-Patriots offensive line did a nice job against Denver pass rush. Von Miller’s only sack was on a muffed snap. Dumervil’s sack on the other hand, was a bad job by Nate Solder.
As always, I’ll have more tomorrow in my keys to victory column.