Pre-Game Meal: Denver Broncos

When the Browns traded the 5th pick overall to the Jets I got this strange, far-fetched idea that maybe he didn’t care about winning so much. I thought maybe, just maybe, Mangini could be a disgruntled employee bent on destroying his former boss. Three games into the season and the Browns have some serious QB issues (they gave up Mark Sanchez) and even bigger offensive woes. Now after Mangini sent the Browns’ most athletic superstar wide-receiver to New York, I have become convinced that he is a deranged coach that is willing to drive any team in to the ground to spite Bill Belichick. I sincerely feel bad for Cleveland fans, I mean, how many more earth-shattering disappointments should they have to endure at the mercy of clinically insane Eric Mangini? I’m sure that their sick of former New England personnel too… just sayin’.


Last week’s game was an awesome thing to watch. Except I really wasn’t watching. I was back in New Jersey for my girlfriend’s cousin’s wedding. I was able to catch the first and fourth quarter before the ceremony and before the reception; the middle quarters were followed closely (and to my girlfriend’s dismay) on ESPN Mobile. Not a bad deal for me at all, although it was hard to not scream when Tom Brady scored on a rushing touchdown. After watching the rest of the highlights on the internet, I felt very confident about what i saw. These past 4 weeks haven’t been just about the slow, steady process of Tom coming back from an injury and getting back in sync; it was about the Patriots coming back from their injury and getting in sync together. Neither are fully back in sync, but 100% is not far from this point.

The Patriots’ red-zone deficiencies and all of our questions were kicked to the curb after Tom’s TD run on the league’s #1 rushing defense and NFL leading red-zone defense. The effects of that touchdown were felt and embraced by everyone on the team. Randy Moss’ first TD reception followed later on thanks to a 14-yard pass from Brady. (and for those who don’t know, that would be a red-zone score too) The Offense just looked cleaner and more assured in themselves.

Words can’t express how excited I am about this team and in the direction they’re going. The future looks good to me and the schedule gets a little easier after this Sunday’s game in Denver, CO against a former Patriot coach who actually knows how to lead a team.

The Weekly Match-ups: The Greatest Column on Earth:

* Tom Brady vs. The NFL’s Top D: Sunday will mark the 5th consecutive undefeated opponent that the Patriots will take on. The Denver Broncos lead the league in takeaways (10), sacks (15), yards allowed (239.8), touchdowns allowed (2), and points allowed (26). That’s quite an accomplishment even if they played two mediocre teams (Cincinnati and Dallas) and two garbage teams (Cleveland and Oakland). Tom Brady will have to have great presence in the pocket to avoid the heat the Denver will bring. He will also have use his eyes to keep the ball away from the Broncos’ two powerhouses in the secondary, safety Brian Dawkins and corner Champ Bailey, or vice-versa. These DBs and their teammates haven’t seemed to miss a beat yet, however, this week they take on an offense that is on the brink of an explosive performance. Tom and the boys have looked much sharper in their last two performances as compared to the first. The timing is there and Welker is back on the field – the Patriots are 20-1 when both Tom Brady and Wes Welker are playing football together.

* The only #81 in the AFC East vs. The Champ: Randy Moss versus Champ Bailey. It just sounds epic doesn’t it? The best wide receiver matched up head-to-head with the best corner back in the league. Randy has received some false criticisms from a few hack jobs in the past 12 days but Mr. Bailey had something else to say this week:

“I’ve always said since I played him for the first time, he’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, even to this day,… he plays like he’s 25 years old again. He’s so dangerous…. When he’s jogging, he’s just really setting you up for the next time he jogs, and then he takes off running past you. He’s one of those guys, he loves to find ways to set you up.”

Champ is ready to take on Randy after leaving last season’s 41-7 blowout/Matt Cassel’s 400-yard game with a groin injury. Bailey knows the Pats are getting better each week and he wants to do whatever he can to stop any sort of air attack from materializing. He has reason to be confident with Dawkins over the top. Randy had his first TD last week and he most certainly has to be excited for this game. Now that Wes is back, Randy can focus on the home run. Look for Moss to go deep early to see what Champ’s got.

* Laurence Maroney vs. The Call of Patriot Nation: Fred Taylor’s hurt (seriously?). Maroney is looking get the start and take the ‘boo”s of Gillette Stadium as motivation to do better. In a recent interview he said that he knows we don’t want to see him go. We just want to see him do better. However, if he doesn’t produce there is always the Law-Firm; and he knows it. Maroney had a measly 6 yards on 7 carries against the Ravens and one of those carries went for 5 yards. That is absolutely unacceptable for the 2006 first-rounder. I don’t know what to expect, but Maroney says he’s been watching film and studying his methods. Here’s hoping for the best…

* Chicago’s Leftovers vs. The Patriots Defense: Kyle Orton was involved in the blockbuster trade that sent pro-bowl QB Jay Cutler to Chicago for Mr.-Not-Rex-Grossman and 2 draft picks. This move was heavily criticized at first, but McDaniels has silenced everyone: Orton has thrown for 906 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 interceptions, carrying Denver to the edge of their first 5-0 start since 1988, the Bronco’s second Super Bowl win. 3W (Wilfork, Wright, and Warren) need to get through Denver’s blockers and force Orton into bad throws and turnovers. They should be able to get to him with the help of Tully Banta-Cain and Gary Guyton on some blitz packages.

* Brandon Marshall vs. Leigh Bodden: Brandon Marshall has been known to have one or two or thirty Spectacular catches during his time in the NFL. If Leigh does his job on Sunday as effectively as he has the past couple of weeks then Marshall shouldn’t have a pro-bowl caliber game. Brandon will make catches, that’s a given, but if the defensive line can create throwing errors and Bodden can contain Brandon Marshall, the Broncos’ #1 receiver will not be a factor. Physicality is a must at the line, and some help over the top should limit Marshall to under 60 yards receiving.

* Law-Firm vs. ?: On Thursday we found out that Fred Taylor will be undergoing ankle surgery and will not play for some time. The open roster spot in could go to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. We’ve all seen what this kid can do; he runs hard, he progresses towards the endzone, he can run on the field. He’s pretty darn good, in my opinion. Can he come in at Mile High Stadium and share the load with Maroney, Morris, and Faulk? Can the Law-Firm make an impact on Sunday’s game and shock us all? I sure hope so.

* Mr. Bill-agi vs. Josh McDaniel-son: Look at Josh. Listen to Josh. He has become the protege of Bill Belichick. He has grossly revamped Denver’s atrocious defense and made them into a decent lookin
g offense. The first REAL test for McDaniels and the Broncos will come on Sunday against his mentor, old team, and former boss. Josh McDaniels knows the Patriot offense, he knows Brady’s game better than any other person outside of New England; maybe only second to Bill. On the other hand, defensive mind Bill Belichick knows Josh and how he tends to play offense. Coach Belichick said that he believe that while each coach has somewhat of an upper hand, that he expects them both to cancel out. It’s going to come down to how many passes are completed, how many runs go for 5+ yards, and how many third downs are converted. Look for new formations from the Patriots the could include the wildcat offense featuring Julian Edelman or a spread offense will TE Ben Watson lined up as a receiver.

until next Friday:

-B. DelaBarrera

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3 Responses to “Pre-Game Meal: Denver Broncos”

  1. Anonymous says:

    soo good. sending this to my dad because you forgot haha.

    ps. your girlfriend sounds awesome.

  2. Anonymous says:

    yo you got this just watch for marshall and the crazy D and the game is yours.


  3. Anonymous says:

    B-Rye LOL you did awsome Cuzin, you been really helpin me out on my picks, plus Tom Brady is the man!! Cant wait to see how they play this weekend!!

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