Patriots vs. Broncos: 3 storylines to watch

Deion Branch is back with the Pats on a one-year deal.
GETTY IMAGES

1. Pass the gravy
 
You could easily argue that the Patriots secondary has been the weakest part of their team all season. Each week, that unit is responsible for giving up hundreds of yards, and is a big reason why the Patriots finished 31st in opponent passing yards per game (293.9). So it comes with mixed emotions that Tim Tebow and the Broncos head to Foxboro Saturday night.

On one side, the Broncos are a run-first team, heavy on the option. That’s good for a team that gives up big yardage through the air. But Tebow showed last week that he can — and will — go deep at times.
“Every time you come out of the huddle, again, the secondary’s primary responsibility is always pass, but in addition to that, they have a lot of run-force responsibilities in this game and option and those kind of things,” Bill Belichick said.

2. Tough as nails

One thing the Patriots are now well aware of is just how tough the Denver Broncos are on both sides of the ball. You could definitely say that the Pats defensive line and linebackers were a little shell-shocked when they realized the strength of the Broncos running game. The Broncos racked up a staggering 167 rushing yards in the first quarter the last time the two teams met. Tebow led the Broncos on two long scoring drives, and consumed 10:45 of the 15-minute quarter. But after that, that defense snapped out of it, limiting the Broncos to just 85 rushing yards the rest of the way. Don’t expect the Patriots to let the Broncos run wild again.

3. Unstoppable force

When it really comes down to it, one thing is clear: The Patriots are better than the Broncos. Yes, you can say that the Patriots haven’t beaten a team above .500 all season (0-2), and their 13 wins have come against teams that, when the dust settled at the end of the year, weren’t all that good. But the Patriots have won 13 games with an injury-riddled defense, one filled with undrafted free agents and late-round draft picks. Why? Tom Brady. Brady and the Pats haven’t showed up over the last two postseasons, but it’s clear the time is now for them. They, more than anyone, understand that. With Brady on point, nobody can stop the Patriots. If he and his receivers are on, it’s game, set, AFC championship game.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.