Saturday, January 14, 2012
Patriots up 28 points at halftime
By James Walker
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are crushing the Denver Broncos, 35-7, at intermission.
Here are some notes at halftime:
- New England's up-tempo, no-huddle offense is giving Denver trouble. The Patriots scored two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the game to go up 14-0. New England is playing very fast and Denver is struggling with its adjustments, substitutions and matchups. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed nine of his first 11 passes in the first quarter. He also has five touchdown passes in the first half.
- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is having a monster game. He already has eight receptions for 97 yards and three touchdowns. Denver did a lot of double-teaming "Gronk" in the first meeting and held him to just four receptions. But Gronkowski has exploded in the first half and is proving to be a huge matchup problem for Denver.
- New England discovered a hole in Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's game in the regular season. They realized Tebow struggles with ball security. New England stripped Tebow for the third time in two games with a sack by Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who is having a strong game. Ninkovich has three tackles and a sack in the first half.
- Finally, I've been saying all week that this was as close to a free pass as New England could get in the playoffs. The Patriots have weaknesses, but the Broncos aren't the type of team to expose them. Tebow will have to throw the ball a ton in the second half for Denver to come back from 21 points down. That is not Denver's game. This game is over, folks.