My apologies for the late start today. Seems like I've been behind from the get-go after that Red Sox game.
We'll run the hurry-up ... Just back from practice and Adalius Thomas (not injury related) and Fred Taylor (right ankle) were the only players not present. I'm thinking Jerod Mayo has a good chance to play this week.
I'm a long time Bronco fan and all I hear is that they are not a good 4-0 team. That they have not beaten anyone yet and that their tough schedule will be their undoing. If the Broncos do go on to beat the Pats this week do you think this will finally solidify them as a real contender.(P.S the super bowl contender GIANTS have not beaten a good team yet but they still get the respect)
Jason, my feeling is that if the Broncos beat the Patriots, then they are for real. There are tough games ahead after New England -- with the Chargers, Ravens and Steelers. But I think a win over the Patriots will quiet some of the Bronco doubters.
I expected Fred Taylor to get a lot of carries against Denver before he went down. Now I'm not sure if they want to give Maroney his carries or change the gameplan. Do you think they will stick to the script and just give Maroney Taylor's carries plus the carries Lawrence would have gotten with Taylor in the game? Or do we see an increased role for Morris or BGJE? Or do they just decide to pass the ball more?
This is a tough one, Evan, and I think it ties in to how the Patriots view the Broncos' defensive front. Last year, I think they felt they could run over them. This year, I'm curious if they will take the same approach. If they do, I think it's more of a Morris/Green-Ellis type of game. They are more power runners.
Other than the missed tackle against the Jets, Meriweather has played very well. Do you think Sunday's Ravens game was his coming out party and we should expect Pro Bowl caliber play for the rest of the season?
Meriweather has been outstanding the last two weeks, David. Tedy had some insightful comments on him in "Bruschi's Breakdown" this week. Seems like he's taking his game to a new level.
For the second straight week Watson was split wide and against the Ravens Maroney and Morris were split wide as well. Do you think this is the way the Patriots are trying to make up for the lack of production from Galloway? Tom Brady and Sammy Morris seem to have good chemistry in the the passing game don't you think?
Right on, David. I thought that was one example of how the Patriots compensated for the lack of depth at receiver. I still think they need to get Galloway on track and I wouldn't give up on him yet. As for Morris and Brady, there is some chemistry there, for sure.
Do either of you think that Denver is for real despite being unbeaten?
I have my doubts, Michael, but I think the familiarity aspect/home-field aspect of this game closes the gap between the Broncos and Patriots.
How do you see the Patriot offense attacking Brian Dawkins and exposing his weaknesses? What if any is a weakness for Brian Dawkins?
Keith, I haven't seen much of Dawkins this year, but in Bruschi's Breakdown, Tedy noted that he is still showing great range, which is unusual for a 14-year veteran. I'd defer to him on this one.
Mike.. Do you see the Patriots making any deadline deals? Peppers or I heard rumors about Kampmen maybe being available?
Deadline deals are rare, Dave, as we know. But the Patriots are one of the NFL's more willing teams to strike it, and I could see them making a move at WR if the right opportunity presented itself. Don't see Peppers/Kampman being factors here.
whats up mike, thanks for posting up my questions on a consistent basis i try to make them interesting for you. Last week i predicted on a live chat with you like this one, that the ravens would be stout against the run and the patriots would have to dink and dunk their way down field, to open up tight end seems and big plays with Moss downfield. The ravens DID do a good job against the run and Ben Watson caught a 34 yard seam! My prediction this week is the patriots winning 17-9. Brandon Meriweather will get his first interception of the season and the story of the game will not be about denvers dominating defense but the young inexperienced patriots defense making big plays in crucial situations!!
Thanks for being a regular, Juan.
How big of an impact will the lose of Fred Taylor be this week with the Pats going up against a Dever defense thats only allowed 26 points this season?
I think it's significant Chris. I see Taylor as their best running back and you could tell how much the blockers enjoyed working for him because he rewarded them even when there wasn't much space there.
Maroney is not getting it done....what is going on?
Dan, I think it's more vision and instincts than anything. Hard to argue with the physical gifts.
Why sign Junior Seau? It seems as Mayo is going to be back right when Seau would be ready to play. This brings us back to the number of linebackers we started with. Maybe the better questions is why now? Percentages say atleast 1 LB will get injuried within the next month and a half which is when Seau was expected to return(if at all).
If you look closely at the LBs, they are really playing with just three right now -- Guyton, Thomas, Woods. Even when Mayo comes back, I think Seau gives you more flexibility to run different schemes. Right now, they are a bit handcuffed with what they can do.
Sorry about that Red Sox blanker last night. Anyways, do you think Patriots D will keep Denver under 20 pts? Or will Josh exploit his former teams' weaknesses?
I see Denver in the 17-23 point range.
Will Morris start at RB??
I think it's contingent on what type of attack they go with. If it's more three-wides, I think we'll see more Faulk. But I'd expect Morris to get his carries regardless.
If you had to name one offensive and one defensive player for the Broncos to keep an eye on this sunday, who would they bed?
On offense: Moss. I think that's an intriguing matchup if Bailey follows him across the field as it will dictate what they can do from a defensive scheming standpoint. On defense: Mayo. For the same reasons, if he is on the field, it changes the complexion of the New England D.
When Mayo comes back can we expect the patriots to play in the 3-4 most often?
I think it will depend on the specific matchup, but I'd say yes. I have only seen them in the 3-4 for three plays since Mayo has been out.
I know must win is the most overly used phrase in the history of sports. On that note I expect Denver to play like it! What are your thoughts on the keys to the game and how the outcome will be? Thank You.
Three keys that come to mind (without using the same cliches' of turnovers/field position etc.): 1) The potential Bailey/Moss matchup; 2) In-game coaching adjustments; 3) Patriots success on early downs to stay out of long-yardage, where the Broncos have feasted. I picked the Patriots by 3-6 points.
Want to apologize again for being a bit late. Time to step aside and hand it over to Tedy.
Hold up, hold up. I'm going to keep chatting. Tedy is at 1.
Let's keep it rolling.
who do you see getting most of the carries with fred taylor out?
I'm having a tough time projecting how the Patriots will attack the Broncos. If it's three-wides, I think we'll see more Faulk. I also think there is some merit to putting Maroney back there, feeding him the ball 20 times, and saying "Hey, it's now or never. Let's see what you can do."
I've watched a little bit of Denver this year, and Elvis Dumervil is a really good player. He's certainly underrated in the league. How do you think the patriots will handle him?
Dumervil is tied for the NFL lead with 8 sacks. He had four against the Browns and then two apiece vs. Oakland and Dallas. I think the Patriots will provide some TE help at times, or have a RB chip him. At 5-foot-11, he's deceptively powerful for a player of his size. There will be times when the tackles are on their own against him, and those 1-on-1 matchups will be crucial.
How many yards do you see Knoshown will go for
When I think of Moreno's role in this game, the first thing that jumps out to me Eric is the passing game. I think McDaniels is going to try to get him matched up against a linebacker. So I think his production shouldn't just be looked at in rushing yards, but also receiving yards. I see him over 100 combined yards.
Mike I hear cold and snow is expected in Denver this weekend. Does this favor the Pats or Denver?
I don't see it as a huge factor, Dave. I'd lean more toward Denver if forced to choose one, because they've had a chance to practice in it and I think the Patriots have more talent. When one team has more talent, I always think a weather factor could narrow that gap.
Key to Denver's offense in your opinion: Moreno, Marshall, or Kyle Orton not playing like Kyle Orton normally plays?
Joe, I'll always go with the QB in situations like this, because he has the ball in his hands every play. I do think Moreno will be a big part of this game, but it has to start with Orton.
The worst part about Taylor's injury is that it probably means more carries for Maroney. Please tell me Maroney will just get benched and we'll see more of Benjarvis Green-Ellis.
Marc, we'll see Green-Ellis for sure. I will be stunned if he is not active in this game. I'm not sure how much he'll carry the ball, though.
I'm at a loss as to who I should start in my Fantasy land lineup this week. I've been riding Portis as to expect the unexpected at this point but at a loss as to whether I should start Nate Washington over him (Flex). Seems like a fifty fifty shot at who's the better candidate....Fun
I'm not a huge fantasy guy, Ian, but looking at the matchups it seems the question is: Clinton Portis vs. Carolina run D, or Nate Washington against Indy pass D. Carolina run D ranks 30th in the NFL, while the Indy pass D is a top-10 unit at this point. Based on the numbers, I'd go Portis.
Do you think Bradys carreer ends in boston
Absolutely, Jack. I don't think it's a matter of "if" Brady gets an extended contract but "when". When you see a player like Richard Seymour traded, I guess one can wonder if the same would ever happen to Brady. I just don't see the Patriots ever, ever going down that road.
The Pats didn't have much trouble scoring on Baltimore, why should Denver be any different this week?
Probably the main thing is that it is a different scheme, and in the NFL, it's all about matchups. Different teams match up well/not so well depending on the scheme.
I'm going ot take a few more here, then we'll have a short break, then Tedy will be in.
Are you going to Denver to cover the game?
Yes, I will be in Denver covering the game.
Mike, just wondering: who's the best reciver in the NFL now?
Larry Fitzgerald gets my vote.
Mike, how do you feel the Patriots' rookies have played so far? It appears that late round picks DT Pryor and WR Edelman have been pleasant surprises, but the 2nd round picks have disappointed so far, except for CB Butler.
I think Butler, Edelman, and Pryor have been solid. Those are the three that stand out to me. I'd be patient on the second-rounders. It takes time.
I want to thank everyone for hanging with me early in the chat, when I was a bit late. These are great and we will continue with them weekly. Tedy is getting warmed up and will be here shortly. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the game.
Thanks Mike. Tedy Bruschi will be here at 1 p.m. to take your questions.
Hey everybody I'm here, let's chat!
What is you call on the game who wins, and score? Go Broncos!
I think the Patriots will win and let me tell you why. Kyle Orton will eventually make some mistakes. He hasn't thrown any picks this year and I think that ends on Sunday. Patriots 24-Broncos 13.
Tedy I'm curious on your take as to how physical Denvers D has become. They were labled as pretty soft the last few years. Has their improved play come with increased physical play?
The biggest difference is defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. He's implemented a 4-3 scheme that allows the defense to utilize their quickness. And Brian Dawkins brings them a physical presence.
why risk playing Mayo this week & not let him fully recover. we'll need him 100% healthy the rest of the season
If Jerod plays, it won't be a risk. They will make sure he's 100% ready to go. They know they need him for the long haul. They won't let him go out there if there is a risk for further injury.
what do you think will happen to Maroney if he doesn't perform this year? will he get traded or just cut? if traded, what can the Pats get for him?
Maroney is still young and management sees that as a tremendous upside. It's still early in the season and the Parriots haven't given up on him yet. They still hope that he will develop into a runner that they can count on. Having said that, he needs to start running with some conviction.
But Teddy, isn't the Denver D a little overated?
6.5 points a game is 6.5 points a game and you have to respect that!
Is the elevation in Denver really a huge factor? It seems like the patriots always struggle in Denver
When watching the game on TV, you will see players on the sideline taking in oxygen more than usual. So Denver's elevation will be a factor.
teddy whats the better team right now the giants or the pats ?
With a healthy Eli Manning, I'm going to say the Giants. They are a very physical team on both sides of the ball and they haven't lost a game yet. They don't have many weaknesses. The Pats are getting better week-by-week. At the beginning of the season I picked the Patriots and the Giants to make the Super Bowl. I guess we'll see who's better on the field.
Huge Colts fan here. Do you see the Broncos blitzing Brady to see how he reacts to moving in the pocket?
That's been the formula for success against the Patriots this season. That will definitely be part of Mike Nolan's plan for his defense.
Hey teddy, you know this defense as well as anyone, what do you expect to see from the patriots defense on sunday as far as phylosophy? 3-4 with mayo back? Do we see two deep safeties to take away the big pass play like we did against the Bills? Blitz packages like we showed against Joe Flacco? thanks teddy! your one of my favorite players of all time!
Thanks Juan! I think they should work Jerod in with Guyton. Mayo has been off for about a month and he still needs to get his feet wet a little bit. I still see the Patriots playing a 4-3 defensive scheme.
What are your thoughts on the comments the Ravens made following last Sundays game?
They have a history of complaining after big losses. They need to worry about what happens on the field and stop worrying about the officials.
Listen guys we're having technical difficulties. Sorry but I'm going to have to cut this chat short. I'll see you next week!