Here are the five matchups to look for as the Denver Broncos face the New England Patriots.
Peyton Manning’s favorite target will look to have a huge day against Aqib Talib who is less than 100 % with a hip injury. Demaryius Thomas will try to reduplicate last year’s performance against the Patriots as he had 9 receptions for 180 yards.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 6-2 against Manning at New England, including in the postseason. Manning has thrown 17 touchdowns & 14 interceptions in those games. In order for the Patriots to win, Belichick will have to keep Manning in check.
Wes Welker’s replacement Danny Amendola will have to be kept in check. Amedola has scored only once this season, but he is a dangerous receiver out of the slot position. Chris Harris, who has 3 interceptions on the season, will cover Amendola.
When Tom Brady is in a tight spot, he often looks in Rob Gronkowski’s direction. Standing at a towering 6 feet 6 inches, "Gronk" has 24 receptions for 343 yards & 2 touchdowns in his 4 games. Broncos safety Mike Adams will cover Gronkowski.
Von Miller has 14 tackles and 2 sacks since he has returned from suspension. Miller had 18.5 sacks last year, including 2 sacks against the Patriots last season. Miller will be headed up against former Colorado Buffaloes star left tackle Nate Solder.