Just blah. The worst thing about that game, for me, was that the Broncos were the better team for almost the entirety of the game. Sure the Patriots had moments where they looked like the dominant group from the divisional round, but holy crap did they look awful for the most part. There is no singular call to blame this on, and no I don’t think working tablets would’ve turned everything around for New England.
Remember when I said that the Pats would win because the offensive line would hold and Edelman would get involved and have a big day? Well never mind about that. The offensive line let Brady get hit an astounding 23 times. It’s hard to operate an offense when you get hit so frequently. It’s basic shock therapy, and at a certain point Brady was feeling ghost pressure when the Broncos would only rush three guys. It was awful.
The line was bad, but I can’t take anything away from the Broncos. At one point they put two guys on the right side to stop Von Miller, who streaked right by them. Their defense is scary good. As I said in my preview post:
With Von Miller and Demarcus Ware in the front seven and Aqib Talib holding down the secondary with Chris Harris, these guys have more than enough football IQ, and veteran leadership, to execute a complex game plan that will frustrate and confuse Brady. – It’s Horse Hunting Season
And unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. It also didn’t help that Brady was the leading rusher for the Patriots, as the offensive line couldn’t even get a push going to get White/Jackson/Bolden any holes to break through. As my friends kept yelling via group text, the Patriots were better off taking a knee on many of the early downs instead of handing the ball off. Without a running game to worry about, the Broncos defensive line feasted on the Patriots.
So we’re on to the offseason. Let the talk of free agents, draft needs (offensive linemen, running back, etc.) and deflategate round 2 commence. PS: Go NFC team (probably the Panthers at this moment)!