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Manning vs. Brady XIV A Classic, Finish a Derp

All the build up was about two players. The entire game was about so much more.

Jim Rogash

Monster games wasted

Von Miller made so many big plays today.  So many pressures, a couple of sacks, a strip of Tom Brady, a fumble return for a TD.  This is the 4th time Miller has played the Patriots and he has singlehandedly disrupted that offense.

Knowshon Moreno.  Some folks during the week were wondering why he didn't have a big game at KC, I said was because he is limited as a runner and when the blocking isn't there he isn't a special enough player to get it done.  We're both wrong.  At least on this night Knowshon was a special player and was pretty much the entirely the Broncos offense tonight.

Broncos force three first quarter turnovers and turn them into a 24-0 halftime lead.  31-31 OT game is what it got them.

Can't play in the cold?

You can't have things both ways.  We ran the ball down the Patriots throats in the 1st half of the game.  Manning is a rhythm QB.  What do you expect? You run the ball and do it effectively and then expect the passing game to pick things up cold?  Not gonna happen.  On another note, I thought it was a pretty big tactical error that the Broncos didn't use more play-action in the 1st half.

Timeout near the end of the half

You can't have things both ways.  You want your team to be aggressive yet moan and complain when they are and something shitty happens.  This is confirmation bias at its worst folks.  The absolute right call was to make New England punt into the wind from their end zone.  With two timeouts no reason to think you couldn't get at least another FG.  What happens after makes you question a good decision when you shouldn't.

We need to think about Trindon Holliday

I think week 2 against the Giants is the last time I remember a punt return for a TD.  Since then he's muffed so many kicks that we have a guy like Wes Welker returning them at the end of the game.  Teams have successfully neutralized his advantage.  Coffin corner, lots of hangtime.  He is no longer a big play waiting to happen, he is a big fumble waiting to happen.  When a guy can't be counted on, what is his use on the roster?

Can't play in the cold?

Overtime the game changes.  Especially when you have the first possession.  While I didn't mind the approach in the first half, and soured on it until Peyton led a TD drive to tie the game at 31, we have almost three full overtime quarters now of downright conservative play.

If you're afraid of letting Peyton Manning throw it in cold weather, then cut him right now.  Bench him.  No reason to have him on the field.  With the way the Broncos ran the ball tonight, there is no reason why this offense couldn't have rang up 40 or 50 points.  Nevermind there is---run run pass.  You can only convert that 3rd down so many times, you can only grind it out so many times.  Big plays turn the tides, when you relegate your passing offense to one down a series, you deserve to lose to an aggressive team.

Taking the ball out of the hands of your most dynamic player is and will always be a mistake.

There's so much to be thought about here with Adam Gase and Jack Del Rio, even John Fox when he comes back.  I am not confident there is philosophy that guides them.  And if there is one, it is defined by the inability to adapt.

Can we get a backup that can hold onto the ball?

It was so beautiful to watch that 1-2 punch...then BOOM.  Fumble.  We were moving the ball well out of halftime and then one play turned the tides of the game.  I guess this means next week we will see a rotation of Knowshon Moreno (if he's not too beat up) and CJ Anderson.

Our big receivers play small in big games

These guys have got to turn up the physicality.  Teams are going to jam, hold, shove, and be physical with them.  They have to learn how to do it back.  Right now we have a lot of big frames being wasted by lack of aggressiveness.

Broncos still in control of destiny

Remember weeks going back when we took a look at this four game stretch? What did I say then.  Take care of the division and the #1 seed is ours.  Broncos have done just that.  In hindsight a 3-point loss to NE on the road is no big deal.  Take care business next week and the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC goes through Denver.

Final Thoughts

Once we got ahead with that big lead it felt as if we played not to lose.  Playing not to lose against a team desperate to win is always a recipe for disaster.

We will see this team again.  Next time around it will be in our house, most likely in the AFCCG.  Until then, good game Pats fans, you deserve the win.

You know as well as anyone the postseason is a different beast.

Can't wait!