The Denver Broncos defensive game plan was executed to perfection in yesterday’s AFC Championship Game.
The reason why the New England Patriots offense was clicking so well prior was because of the teams ability to run the football.
LaGerrette Blount was playing at a crazy high level. In the Pats previous 2 games, Blount ran for a combined 355 yards and 6 touchdowns.
He was averaging over 7 yards per carry, and New England was able to put up 43 points against the Colts despite the fact Tom Brady did not throw a touchdown pass.
Recognizing this, Jack Del Rio’s defense decided they were not going to allow the Patriots to run the ball.
If New England was going to win, Tom Brady would have to rely on his receiving core and the biggest weakness on the team, of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, and Austin Collie to beat the Broncos. Notice, there isn’t a tight end mentioned here.
Blount, who had been one of the best players in the NFL down the stretch, was held to just 6 yards on only 5 carries. As a team, the Patriots were limited to 64 yards on the ground.
Not even the great Tom Brady could pull off a magical win with his set of receivers. One year after having arguably the NFL’s most dangerous receiving cores of Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Brady was left with a bunch of cast-offs in 2013 following Hernandez’s shocking murder arrest, Gronkowski’s ACL injury, and Welker leaving to join the Broncos.
As a result, Brady’s receivers were put to the test and failed. All game long they struggled to get open, dropped easy catches, and when the opportunities were there, Brady missed what could have been several big plays.
Peyton Manning’s surgical performance, and the Broncos dominating the time of possession didn’t help the Patriots cause.
The Broncos flat out dared the Patriots receivers to beat them, they couldn’t and the Patriots are going home while Denver is going to the Super Bowl.