I'm usually not a major contributor here, and I don't really enjoy doing fanposts often. But as a roommate of 5 Patriots fans, I would just like to share my thoughts on what we need to do to beat this team. Let me preface this by saying this is a winnable game. I hate to admit but I would say the Pats are more likely to win, but here's a couple things we need to do to change that.
1. Let Tebow pass, early and often: I know this is unlikely, because Fox will not allow this, but that's old Fox. Remember when we got him and Panthers fans were saying he wouldn't play young guys and wouldn't change his ways? Look how far he's come from that!
Now, to get into why I believe this: The Patriots secondary sucks. They're awful. I hate saying this because their number 1 CB went to my High School, but these are either not very talented DB's or are WR's. Yes, this team has been forced to play WR's in their secondary because of injuries. Currently, this squad is ranked DEAD LAST in pass defense, and if you watch their games they make some awful QB's look good (ie: Rex Grossman, Dan Orlovsky, Chad Henne) all QB's Tim Tebow is better then. Belicheck deserves all the credit in the world for winning with this unit, but its time for Tebow to rip off this band-aid secondary.
Another reason why this is a key is because the Pats D is surprisingly stout against the run. Ranked 13th, they've also had a very low number of big yardage runs. I know we're a running team, but sometimes a team has to see that changing your O a bit to take advantage of the other team's weaknesses is your best shot
The one caveat with this is their pass rush. While its far from spectacular, its flashed in some instances when teams weren't expecting it. Clady has dominated much better pass rushers then Andre Carter but if he sleeps on him, Tebow may have a messy pocket.
2. High Red Zone TD Percentage: This D embodies the "bend don't break" philosophy. For most drives, the Pats look like they're chasing the other teams O for 60 yards, but once they get into the redzone they buckle down and force TO's/FG's. They did this to the Skins on their last drive and won because of it. If we do have as much offensive success as we are capable of, we need to finish drives.
The reason this is important is because you have to expect Brady to throw TD's, so if our O is limited to FG's and Brady can score 3 TD's, we lose. I'm not saying this will be a shootout, our D may keep this a low scoring affair, but we will need to maximize the amount of points we get due to the explosiveness of this Offense.
3. Blitz, creatively: Many factors go into what makes certain players legendary. For Tom Brady, its mainly in the fact that if you give him time, he'll kill you. The Pats OL is pretty good, however, they've had their lapses in certain parts of the season. We're not going to get to Brady by just lining up Von Doom on the edges, he's way too smart for that (as he showed against Freeny/Mathis in their primes). We're going to need to show him one thing before the snap, and give him something different when the ball is snapped. Brady may not make as many ridciulous calls as Manning, but he makes a lot of reads before the play. Most of the time, Brady can read a D before hand and know where he's going to throw it and when. We can't allow that.
To specify, Allen will need to blitz different people on every play. That could mean showing Miller, then dropping him back, and then have BDawk come from a different angle and muss up the pocket. To me, this is where the game will be won. If Brady and his OL can pick up our pass rushers, game over. But if we can confuse them and knock Brady down a couple times, we'll win. I expect Dennis Allen to lock himself in the film room with film on the Jets D against Brady in the playoffs last year. That's the manual on beating him.
4. Limit their weapons: A big part of this team's success, heck all of it, is due to the fact that Brady has a lot of guys he can get the ball to. Welker and Gronk make the headlines but they have a bunch of other guys that can hurt you if you don't respect them. This kinda piggy backs the last point, as we'll need to pressure Brady so he doesn't have enough time to find these guys, but before that even happens we need to lock up their guys so our pass rush has enough time to get there.
I tried offering solutions for all my other points, but this one I couldn't tell you. This will be Allen's toughest test as a DC. There's a lot of ways this O can kill us with very few solutions on how to stop it. My best advice is only that we have to trust Allen and Fox, and hope they can stop this vaunted attack. I would reccomend do what you can to stop Welker and Gronk and hope the other guys can hold off Branch, Hernandez, etc. but people have tried that and have failed.
Those are my keys to the game. I don't pretend to be an expert on football (alright, I do) but I felt like sharing this because I've watched more Broncos and Patriots games this season then anyother team. I really need the Broncos to win this or my roomies will rag on me for weeks. Tebow, Fox, Allen: Don't let me down!