New England Patriots (10-3) at Denver Broncos (8-5)
Three Things You Should Know About
1. Be prepared for “Air Tebow.” After going seven straight starts without topping 200 yards through the air, Tim Tebow has hit that mark in back-to-back outings. The chances that he makes it three in a row are pretty high, given how much New England has struggled to defend the pass this season.
The Patriots enter Sunday’s showdown dead last in the NFL in pass defense — and it’s not even close. At 308.7 yards-per-game allowed, New England has given up 20 more yards per game than the league’s No. 31 pass defense (Green Bay). In fact, the Patriots have allowed fewer than 250 yards passing in just two games this season, against the Jets and Chiefs, both New England wins.
Denver will try its best to get Tebow, Willis McGahee and the rest of the run game going early. But even last Sunday against Chicago, the Broncos opened the playbook earlier than normal, with Tebow dropping to pass on four of Denver’s first six plays.
“They just do a lot of things well,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of the Broncos. “They run the ball well. They have a little bit of an option game, they throw it well, play-action, throw the ball down the field to some big receivers who can go up and get it. It’s no one-man band; we’ll get tested across the board.”
Tebow would have had an even bigger game against Chicago if not for a plethora of drops from his receiving corps. The Patriots might not get so lucky this Sunday.
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SOURCE: Sports Illustrated