Well guys, I hate be negative at a time when the Broncos are on a serious roll, but next week's game vs the Patriots is giving me some serious nightmares. Their defense is as close as it gets to being laughable, but their offense is something to behold.
Of course, any time you go up against somebody like Brady it leaves reason to worry. If we can't get pressure on him, it will be a long day. Nothing new of course. The blueprint is to get in there rushing no more than 4 guys, with the occasional 5th or even 6th guy up the middle. Again, nothing new, and fortunately for us, we should be able to do this once in awhile, as it is a strength for us. I would imagine we would want to have Champ up against Welker as many times as we can, but with as much zone as we play will that be a possibility?
Now we have to worry about the man-beast at TE known as Gronk. At this point he appears to be un-coverable. Hell, he looks un-tackleable, if that even is a word. Watching the 'Skins' secondary's feeble attempts to bring him down, and then watching our own secondary struggle with taking down Marion Barber brings me a ton of concern. What is our answer to him?
Could this be a week where we see our defense show more of a 3-4 look to get more physical with Gronk at the line with linebackers, followed by someone like Chris Harris to cover him beyond that? Perhaps stay 4-3, but we remove Mays and put in DJ at MLB, leaving Woodyard to try to cover him underneath? Maybe we could even have a guy like Ayers to occasionally drop back in a zone blitz. This is far from ideal, but this guy is like 6'7 or something and I don't know who on this roster is big enough to knock down a pass to him. I don't think we can commit too many LB's to him that often, as Welker often is coming over the middle, and they also have Aaron Hernandez to contend with if they come out in a double-TE set. Talk about hot-reads!
Now I understand that the Pats do come out in 3-wide sets a lot, and we would have Woody and DJ as our linebackers, with Harris as the nickel. There are many that would like to see Harris replace Goodman as a starting corner, but for the sake of this matchup I would rather have Harris in the middle covering the slot, as he would have a better shot, IMO in bringing either of those TE's down. I hope that Dawk is able to go for this game. I don't hold much hope for his covering ability, but to think that Rahim Moore could be the only guy between Gronk and the end zone is worthy of crying over.
Clearly, our goal will be for the offense to shorten the game and limit the number of possessions the Pats have on offense, it isn't realistic to think we could keep up in a shoot out. So, what do we do? There are some serious defense X and O gurus around here, what do you think you would do?