Broncos Thrill Pats In OT, Pats Unbeaten No More

It was 3rd and 1.  The Broncos were on their first drive in overtime.  The Pats had won the toss and tragically gone 3 and out.  Then Osweiler handed it to C.J. Anderson.  He swerved to the left and just kept going and going.  He had just scored the game winning touchdown.

C.J. Anderson as he heads to the end zone for the game winning TD in OT

The Broncos were the first to beat the once undefeated Patriots this season, with a 30-24 overtime win.  It was a very exciting, back and forth game, but it ended with the Broncos putting an end to the regular season portion of the Revenge Tour.  If they win a super bowl, then they still get vengeance on Roger Goodell.

The Broncos went 3 and out on their first drive.  A horrible punt got the Patriots started in Broncos territory.  This was turning into a field position game.  The Pats marched down the field, and Gronk scored a touchdown.  Gronk had already had a nice pass earlier in the drive, lasting 2:07, with 4 plays for a whopping 47 yards!!!!  They started at the opposing 47 and easily scored a TD.

The great defense continued.  The Broncos went 3 and out again, and even the Pats did it after starting around the 50.  Still a field position game.  On the next drive, the Broncos were on 4th down & inches, and Brock Osweiler ran a QB sneak for the first down. They didn’t challenge the spot, even though it was clearly 4th & 2.  On the next set of downs, Osweiler got sacked, knocking Denver out of field goal range.  When Brady got the ball back, they sacked him in return.

A good punt keeps Denver starting at their own 10.  The Pats were thinking safety, but as Osweiler progressed down the field, they had other plans.  Sheard knocked the ball from Osweiler, and Chandler Jones caught it in the air for and interception.  The Pats marched down the field and Chandler was wide open as Brady threw to him for the touchdown.  14-0 Pats.  It was now the 2nd quarter.

A couple of drives later, the Broncos progressed down the field, and Ronnie Hillman went beast mode and got a 19 yard TD, making it 14-7.  Th next couple minutes before the half were slow, as the Pats failed to score before getting the ball back in the 2nd half.  In the first drive after halftime, Gronk caught a 22 yard pass, but it wasn’t enough as the Pats punted it away.

The Broncos were near safety territory again on the next drive, but quickly marched down the field to escape.  But they didn’t get far away enough.  They were in field goal range, but Brandon McManus had to attempt a 47 yarder.  It was way off.  The field goal was no good, and it was still 14-7 Pats.  The remainder of the third quarter was a snooze-a-thon.  But things got exciting in the 4th quarter.  The Pats went into it with the ball.  They had just started a drive before the end of the 3rd.  On the first play of the quarter, they threw to Bolden.  He had no problem catching it, but the real thriller was what happened next.  He took off, and soon the defenders were nowhere to be found.  Brandon Bolden kept on running and running, until he got to the end zone.  He had just scored a 63 yard touchdown!!!!

It was now 21-7 Pats.  They had a two TD lead.  The Broncos went 3 and out, but on the punt, Chris Harper fumbled in the attempt to return the punt, and the Broncos recovered it.  That was his only noticeable play of the night.  He ended up with -2 fantasy points.  NEGATIVE TWO!!!  The Broncos got to start at around the opposing 40.  They marched down the field and Anderson scored a touchdown.  So technically, CHRIS HARPER is the reason the Pats lost.  Otherwise, we would’ve had a 24-17 win.  The Pats couldn’t do anything because of some stupid penalties.

Denver got the ball around the 50 and they marched down the field.  They slowed down in the red zone, and had to settle for a field goal.  It was now 21-17 Pats.  Our lead was not very secure.  On the next drive, we couldn’t do anything because Gronk was called for offensive pass interference!!!  It was a stupid call!!!  Just stupid!!!!  What were those refs doing?!!!  Are they just out to get us for “DEFLATE GATE”?!!!!  On our next drive, we threw a nice pass to Gronk, but it was followed by a heart-breaker. Brady threw to Gronk for an incomplete pass, but it was worse than that.  Gronk had tripped over someone, and fell on his right knee.  When the staff came over, to look at it, he was screeching in pain.  He was carted off the field, and they are fearing a torn right MCL.    On a late 4th quarter drive, DeMaryius Thomas caught a 36 yard pass, followed by an Emmanuel Sanders 39 yarder.  Osweiler through the much needed TD pass to Andre Caldwell, giving them a 24-21 lead.

The next drive was the last of the regulation playing time, and it was filled with some nice passes, but it wasn’t enough to score the game winning TD.  However, Stephen Gostkowski did attempt a 47 yard field goal, and it was good!!!  It was tied, 24 all.  This game was going to overtime.  Then, the next heart-breaker occurred.  The Pats won the toss, went 3 and out in a horrible drive.  They had no weapons, and Brady was too worried about his teammate to focus.  Then Anderson did his thing, and it was game over. However, the Pats can still earn home field advantage.  Denver plays Cincy in Week 16, so one of those teams will lose again.  If we can go 4-1 on the following schedule:

vs PHI

@HOU

vs TEN

@NYJ

@MIA

Then they can still do it.  For now, we’re on to Philadelphia.

 

Patriots-Broncos Preview

The New England Patriots take on the Denver Broncos in Denver tonight.  Typically, this would call for Brady vs. Manning, but tonight, it will be different.  Due to a Peyton Manning foot injury, Brock Osweiler will face Tom Brady at quarterback.  This is an eye-catching stop on the Patriots’ Revenge Tour, based on two things.  First, Denver is almost as good as the 10-0 Patriots.   Second, if the Patriots win this, they could be inches away from clinching their division, and will have a bigger lead to earn the home field advantage in the playoffs.

The Pats have a lot of injuries to overcome on offense, but their defense is growing into a premier D again.  This will likely be a low scoring game.

My Prediction: Patriots, 20, Broncos, 13

This is a clear game of defense.  I think there are so many good Broncos defensive players.

Defensive Eye-Catchers: Broncos

DE: Malik Jackson

LB: Von Miller

LB: DeMarcus Ware (OUT)

LB: Brandon Marshall

LB: Shane Ray

LB: Danny Trevathan

CB: Aqib Talib

CB: Bradley Roby

CB: Chris Harris Jr.

S: T.J. Ward

 

That’s a lot of defense!!!!  But sleepers will play a big role.  James White is one of those big names that could have a big game.  Also look for Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper.  But tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, and Asante Cleveland (signed from practice squad this week), especially with Michael Williams out.  Our defense has plenty of eye catching names as well, and they are short on sleepers, especially with Jordan Norwood out.  Sleepers will play a big role, and the Pats have more, so I think they have the edge.  What makes me think that even more is that the Pats are 12-0 historically in the snow.  It is snowing in Denver right now.

3 Keys To A Win

  1. Despite the lack of corners, the Pats need to keep an eye on the receiver duo of DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, along with tight ends Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels.
  2. The Pats need to use sleeper tight ends Scott Chandler and Asante Cleveland as a bigger part of their offense.
  3. Despite Peyton Manning being out, Brock Osweiler could be dangerous. Apply pressure on him.

Inactives

 

Broncos

Christian Ponder QB

Peyton Manning QB

DeMarcus Ware LB

Jordan Norwood WR

Lorenzo Doss CB

Richard Gordon TE

Sam Brenner C

 

Patriots

Danny Amendola WR

Trey Flowers DE

Jamie Collins LB

Justin Coleman CB

Michael Williams TE

Jordan Richards S

Julian Edelman WR

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pats Roster: Fix-Up

Here is a look at my final roster projection

Final Roster

QB-3

Tom Brady

Jimmy Garroppollo

Ryan Lindley

 

RB-5

LeGarrette Blount

Brandon Bolden

Travaris Cadet

Jonas Gray

James White

 

Cuts

Tyler Gaffney

Dion Lewis

 

WR-7

Danny Amendola

Josh Boyce

Aaron Dobson

Julian Edelman

Brandon LaFell

Matthew Slater

Reggie Wayne

 

IR

Brian Tyms

Brandon Gibson

 

Cuts

Greg Orton

Jalen Saunders

Chris Harper

Jonathan Krause

 

TE-6

Scott Chandler

Asante Cleveland

AJ Derby

Rob Gronkowski

Michael Hoomanawanuui

Michael Williams

 

OL-8

Marcus Cannon

Nate Solder

Sebastian Vollmer

Cameron Fleming

Josh Kline

Ryan Wendell

Bryan Stork

Tre’ Jackson

 

Cuts

David Andrews

Kevin Hughes

Shaq Mason

 

DL-10

Alan Branch

Malcom Brown

Dominique Easley

Geneo Grissom

Chandler Jones

Chris Jones

Rob Ninkovich

Jabaal Sheard

Sealver Siliga

Joe Vellano

 

Cuts

Zach Moore

Trey Flowers

 

LB-5

Jamie Collins

Xzavier Dickson

Darius Fleming

Dont’ A Hightower

Jerod Mayo

 

Cuts

Dane Fletcher

Jonathan Freeny

Rufus Johnson

Eric Martin

Chris White

 

CB-5

Tarrell Brown

Malcolm Butler

Nate Ebner

Logan Ryan

Daxton Swanson

 

IR

Darryl Roberts

 

Cuts

Justin Coleman

Brandon King

Robert McClain

 

S-5

Patrick Chung

Duron Harmon

Devin McCourty

Jordan Richards

Tavon Wilson

 

Cuts

Justin Green

 

ST

Stephen Gostkowski

Ryan Allen

Joe Cardona

 

Practice

Gaffney

Lewis

Orton

Harper

Flowers

Moore

White

Krause

 

As you can see, there are many fantasies on this roster, but for a reason.  Ryan Lindley’s on the roster for a reason, even with Brady back for the first four.  They need a backup, and if Garroppollo is too young and struggles, Lindley, who did a decent job as the Cardinals emergency option, steps in.

That Jonas Gray cut, even with the fact that they wouldn’t pay for him, he had an outbreak before LeGarrette Blount out.  With Blount suspended, and Gray cut, who works with Cadet?  Bolden?  White?  Lewis?  Apparently.  And even with a dominant preseason, Dion Lewis did not deserve a bubble spot over Gray, or even Cadet.  Cadet had a nice 2014 year with Drew Brees, not even as good as Tom Brady.

I also don’t understand Josh Boyce’s cut.  There was a point less than two years ago when Boyce was having breakout weeks.  Chris Harper, apparently, earned the bubble spot over him.  I understand, Harper had a nice preseason, but there’s no room for him.  They have Edelman, LaFell, Amendola and Dobson, even Slater ahead.  Also, why did Wayne come and go so fast?  He was going to be an important addition, especially if the injured Brandon LaFell was gonna miss the opener.  Wayne just was probably too old.  The Pats are going young.  I liked the idea of racking up as many vets as you can and going for another title, especially with Brady’s suspension off.

They also cut some good tight end depth in Asante Cleveland and AJ Derby.  Derby could sign with another team and be a surprise rookie the Pats ditched.  Cleveland was definitely on the bubble, but they traded what might have been their starting left guard for him.  I thought Mike Williams was closer to a cut though.  Apparently, I was wrong.

It also surprised me that they cut JOE VELLANO.  He had such a good super bowl performance, and he was going to replace Vince Wilfork.  Now it’s up to Dominique Easley and Malcom Brown, first round picks from 2014 and 2015.  Sealver Siliga might contribute, too, but he has to cover for Chris Jones, who’s hurt for now.  Geneo Grissom, the 5th round pick is another option.

At corner, about 2 weeks ago I would say, “Butler and Ryan will start.”  But late in the preseason, Tarrell Brown has shined.  He could not just make the roster, but start alongside Butler.  Ryan is not strong enough to start with Brown as an alternate, he can backup.  Another additon they kept was Eagles free agent Bradley Fletcher, joining Brown and Butler and maybe surpass Ryan.

 

Thursday Starters

 

Moving forward, here’s my Thursday projected lineup.

 

Offense

Tom Brady QB

Travaris Cadet RB

Julian Edelman WR

Danny Amendola WR

Rob Gronkowski TE

Scott Chandler TE

Nate Solder LT

Cameron Fleming LG

Bryan Stork C

Ryan Wendell RG

Sebastian Vollmer RT

 

Defense

Chandler Jones DE

Dominique Easley DT

Sealver Siliga DT

Rob Ninkovich DE

Jerod Mayo OLB

Jamie Collins MLB

Dont’ A Hightower OLB

Malcolm Butler CB

Devin McCourty SS

Patrick Chung FS

Tarrell Brown CB

Special Teams

Stephen Gostkowski K

Ryan Allen P

Joe Cardona LS