Posts Tagged ‘Denver Broncos’

Brandon Browner’s Value to the Patriots Illustrated vs. Broncos

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Brandon Browner's game remains unchanged, and both sides of it were illustrated against the Broncos in Week 9. (NFL Game Rewind)

The physical game of Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner remains unchanged. And both sides of it were seen against the Broncos in Week 9. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Brandon Browner’s brand of football may be going extinct. But despite the NFL’s points of emphasis on illegal contact, holding and pass interference, and despite the seven flags he has drawn through three games this season, his brand has remained the same.

The 30-year-old cornerback is not letting it go without a fight, a tug, or at least a shove.

“I’m not going to change my game. I’m not going to let it bother me,” Browner said as training camp opened in July. “I’m going to force them to make the call. I’m going to try to stay aggressive. That’s what got me here.”

Those words have rung true. The brand that got the 6’4”, 221-pound journeyman to the New England Patriots is not unlike what got him to Oregon State, the Denver Broncos, the Calgary Stampeders and the Seattle Seahawks. It’s physical, glaring, and in a sense, ugly.

It’s supposed to be. And the reason why was explained against the Broncos in Week 9. (more…)


How Patriots ‘X’ Receiver Brandon LaFell Has Marked His Spot

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Brandon LaFell’s rise has provided the Patriots with the element of unknown. (NFL Game Rewind)

Brandon LaFell’s rise has provided the Patriots’ passing game with the element of unknown. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Brandon LaFell was targeted six times in his first two regular-season games as a member of the New England Patriots. And, heading into his third game of September, the former Carolina Panthers third-round pick had zero catches to his name.

He’s had 36 over the seven games since.

It’s been both a gradual and sudden rise for the 6’3”, 210-pound wide receiver; one that arrived along with the surveillance of his three-year, $9 million contact last March. Organized team activities proved to be about familiarization for him, and that continued through the summer as he looked to find a home on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

Route miscommunications and concentration drops were the unintended consequences of a journey that sent him from the NFC South to the AFC East. The 28-year-old had to acclimate to the ball placement of quarterback Tom Brady instead of Cam Newton, and he had to acclimate to his own placement in the offense of coordinator Josh McDaniels instead of Mike Shula.

It required repetition. (more…)


Patriots Ready For Denver This Time Around

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell 

The last time the Patriots faced off against the Denver Broncos it ended in heartbreak for New England.  Not only did the Patriots have to travel across the country but they were also decimated by injuries at the time and really didn’t have the weapons needed to beat Peyton Manning.  However; this time the result could be very different.

Though New England suffered key injuries to defensive stalwarts Chandler Jones and Jerod Mayo, their secondary is now as good as ever and are physical enough to slow down Denver’s weapons.

(more…)


Without Chandler Jones, Three Patriots Tasked with Role of One

Friday, October 31st, 2014
New England called upon Dominique Easley, Akeem Ayers and Zach Moore to encompass Chandler Jones’ responsibilities in Week 8 against the Bears. (Winslow Townson – USA Today Sports Images)

New England called upon Dominique Easley, Akeem Ayers and Zach Moore to encompass Chandler Jones’ role against the Bears. (Winslow Townson – USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots have been without Chandler Jones for only one game thus far into the 2014 campaign.

That one game saw the front seven send three different players out to succeed the role of one.

Dominique Easley, Akeem Ayers and Zach Moore – each of whom brought their own traits to the defensive rotation. Each of whom brought forth their own third to replace the snaps of a player who had logged 417 through seven contests, per Pro Football Focus.

Only it hinged on more than volume for them in Week 8 against the Chicago Bears; it hinged on how they encountered their alignments, and how they left their impact within them. (more…)


Inside Zone: How the Patriots Run Defense Has Shifted Since the Last Broncos Encounter

Friday, January 17th, 2014

New England’s defensive front has undergone subtle renovations since allowing 280 rushing yards to the Denver Broncos in Week 12. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Rush yards were at a surplus when the New England Patriots defense faced the Denver Broncos ground game in Week 12.

Quarterback Peyton Manning handed the football off to his running backs 47 times, and 280 yards were the byproduct. Fifth-year back Knowshon Moreno had a career day, compiling 224 rushing yards and a touchdown on 37 attempts, while rookies Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson combined for 56 yards on 10 attempts.

Whether it was by design or by accident, the Patriots front didn’t give the record-breaking Manning much of a reason to pass to his assortment of receivers – he totaled 150 pass yards. And while the absence of defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly certainly played a part in the Patriots’ failures there, the woes delved deeper than attrition for the then-31st run D.

Much of it came down to how the scheme approached the inside zone.

That approach has since been altered. It may, however, be fine-tuned once again for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game at Mile High.

(more…)


Routes and Coverages: Charting the Balance of Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins vs. Broncos

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Rookie wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have been utilized in different facets for the Patriots. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

There was a halftime shift in the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Denver Broncos in Week 12. And while that was apparent in the 34-31 final score, it was also apparent in the use of rookie wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.

As the second-round pick opened the game at “X” receiver, the undrafted free-agent opened the game No. 4 on the depth chart. Yet after intermission, their roles were switched. The 6’0”, 195-pound Thompkins found himself on the field, and the 6’3”, 200-pound Dobson found himself predominantly observing from the sidelines.

The beneficiary, whose first passing play came with five seconds left in the first half, ultimately finished with six catches on nine targets for 56 yards. On the other end, Dobson finished catchless over his 37 snaps, relieving an injured Thompkins for just two plays in the third.

At first glance, the personnel switch suggested that the 22-year-old Marshall wideout had been benched in favor of the 25-year-old Cincinnati product. But in reality, the decision delved deeper than that. Dobson was not spotted at Patriots practice on Wednesday due to a foot injury, and Thompkins’ skill set and route tree best suited Denver’s defense. (more…)


Measuring Growth: Patriots Draft Picks Jamie Collins, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan Take Next Step vs. Broncos

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon stood out in New England’s comeback victory over Denver in Week 12. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Growth isn’t always quantitative; it isn’t always measurable by the day or week. But in stages, lower and simpler forms can develop into higher and more complex forms.

And while the progression of these stages is neither a constant nor a guarantee, it’s clear that New England Patriots rookie draft picks Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon have reached the next one.

Sunday night’s frigid battle at Gillette Stadium versus the Denver Broncos was the venue for them to do so. (more…)







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