Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have been on a rampage this season. Coming off their early bye week, the Patriots dispatched the Dallas Cowboys 30-6 despite Brady being sacked five times. If you can’t beat the Patriots by getting to their best player, when will they be beaten? After being embroiled in a major head-line grabbing controversy in 2007 (Spygate) and having their integrity questioned, the Patriots went 16-0 and made the Super Bowl. After this year’s Deflategate controversy, Brady and New England look similarly motivated. The two biggest threats to the Patriots right now are the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos. New England hosts the Jets in Week 7 and travels to Denver in Week 12. Both teams boast strong defenses.
But for all the promise the Jets have shown, I can’t see them upsetting the Patriots much in the AFC East. So it will fall to Denver’s number one defense to halt the Patriots. This will be a different style of showdown that we’re used to seeing between New England and Denver over the past few years. Whereas the conflicts of the last few seasons were fought between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, this year’s battle will be decided by how Brady tackles the Broncos’ defense.
With much more depth than the Cowboys, Denver should get to Brady just as easily. But with a much stronger secondary that can go toe-to-toe with targets like Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, the Broncos are better placed to stop New England. But New England’s front seven is one of the league’s best as well, and will cause serious problems for the ailing Peyton Manning. And Belichick’s patchwork secondary is getting stronger and stronger with each game. By Week 12, the Patriots could be a much bigger threat against the pass. This year’s clash between the Patriots and the Broncos will do what it always does; decide the fate of the AFC Championship race. Can the Patriots match 2007’s 16-0 record? Week 12 will hold the answer.