The New England Patriots look to be the team to beat in the AFC. It’s hard to imagine that with a 7-2 record the Patriots were in trouble early in the season, but as always, adjustments were made and now they look like a totally different team. The Patriots managed to turn their season over their last seven games. Problems don’t last long in New England a fast that was clear in Sunday night’s game against the Denver Broncos.
Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from week ten that will bring the Patriots continued success throughout the rest of the season.
The 3 Biggest Takeaways From Week 10: Patriots Pound the Broncos 41-16
New England Patriots Special Team Unit Was On Fire
Normally the quarterback gets the praise when a team wins, and it’s not like Tom Brady doesn’t deserve it, but the Patriots special team unit was the spark that ignited the fire on Sunday night. It all started early with Broncos punt returner, Isaiah McKenzie fumbling the ball which was recovered by the Patriots’ Jacob Hollister at the 23-yard line. The play resulted in an easy seven points for the Patriots.
The offensive part of the special teams wanted to get in on the action as well. Patriot return man, Dion Lewis fielded a kick-off in his own end zone and ran it back for a 102-yard touchdown. There is no other better way to start a game than by your special teams taking care of business. The Patriots special teams unit set the Patriots up with a solid start and also set the tone for the rest of the game. The Broncos would have to fight for every single yard on every single possession.
Patriots Defense Is Back
In the beginning of the season, it may have been unclear whether or not the Patriots defense was legit. They were letting games get too close and allowing their opponents to score at will. It was a different story last night. In a blowout win, it was clear that the Patriots were making stops and not allowing the Broncos to execute offensively. Aside from their inability to stop Emmanuel Sanders, the Patriots did a solid job of covering the Broncos receivers.
It is unclear if the Broncos terrible play or the Patriots new found defense is responsible for what happened Sunday night. Still, when you look at the stats, keeping a team to only 16 points and not allowing them to score at all in the fourth quarter is a job well done for any defense.
Stopping Von Miller
Von Miller is the leader of the Broncos defensive, and yet he was nowhere to be found. The Patriots were able to contain Miller and the rest of the Broncos’ defense. This was key to the Patriots victory.
Being able to stop Miller from making plays and taking the entire Broncos defense down, not only helped the Patriots offensively, but it also helped demoralize the entire team.
Going from being the best defense in the league to the sixth in a matter of games is demoralizing. Miller allowed plays to happen right in front him, and no one was able to touch Brady or pressure him in the pocket. The Patriots were able to successfully neutralize this defense and had their way offensively in Denver.
With the Patriots season had begun, its hard to believe they are firing on all cylinders the way they are. Not only has their defense made a complete turnaround, but the Patriots have been able to tweak their special teams and produce a more effective offense. They have been able to read their opponents and shut down their key players.
Up next the Patriots take on the Oakland Raiders in Mexico’s acclaimed Azteca Stadium. If they focus on these key takeaways and continue to neutralize key players, the Patriots could add another win to their season.