A winter chill was in the air on Wednesday. The cold temperature was another reminder for the Patriots about what’s upon them. In the NFL, when the winter comes, the most important games of the season usually follow.
For the Patriots, they enter the second half of the season playing five of the next six games on the road. If they want the AFC’s No. 1 seed, that’s certainly true. Coming off their bye week, they’ll have to make some improvements and play their best football at the appropriate time.
For Tom Brady, that means going to the one place that’s been a nightmare– Denver. The Pats matchup with the Broncos this week is a solid test to kick start the second half of the 2017 season.
“We’ve got eight to go. This is about the time where everyone starts to see what you’re made of, we can use the things we’ve learned and apply it to very competitive games. Starting with this one,” Brady said. “Eight games are done. I think we’ve learned a lot of things. Hopefully, a tough place to play against a very tough team. None of them are going to be easy. We’re going to have to play better than we played. That’s what our goal is.”
Life against the Broncos hasn’t been easy for Brady. Overall, Brady has 6-6 record season record against the Broncos. He’s 1-3 in the playoffs. When it comes to playing inside Mile High Stadium, it’s even worse where Brady is 3-7 (0-3 in the playoffs; 3-4 in the regular season).
In 12 regular-season games, Baltimore and Kansas City). Last season’s win against the Broncos marked Brady’s first in Denver in four years, Brady has completed 59.8 percent of his passes making the Broncos one of four teams to have held the quarterback to under 60 percent (Arizona, snapping a three-game losing streak.
the Patriots are taking on a struggling Broncos (3-5) team,This time around, who beat the Patriots in 2015. Of course, whom has lost four straight games. Brady will be playing opposite of quarterback Brock Osweiler, that season, that Broncos defense led that team to a Super Bowl championship.
obviously you play on the road,“I think they’ve had good teams. Really, it’s tough location wise, I think the margin of error is even more slim. This team has always had good football teams. They’re good in all phases. They’re well coached,” Brady said. “When you play good teams, good players,Authentic Darian Stewart Jersey, good offenses and defenses. Good kickers. Lot of games have been close. Little margin of error when you go out there. We’re going to have to play good. They have a great defense. Great player on both sides of the ball. You can’t go out there and make a bunch of mistakes and expect to win.”
The current team health status is a cause of concern for Brady and the Patriots. Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon has missed the last two practices in a row with an ankle injury. If he can’t play, LaAdrian Waddle will start and have to fend off All-Pro edge rusher Von Miller. To make matters worse, Chris Hogan still hasn’t practiced since hurting his shoulder against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Hogan is currently tied for first on the Patriots in touchdowns, tied for third in receptions and third in receiving yards. When you take into account a talented Broncos secondary,Authentic Brandon Marshall Jersey, led by Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., and a talented edge rusher in Von Miller, this Patriots offense could have their hands full.
Brady expects the Broncos best effort.
“I think at this point, every win is important for every team. No one likes to lose. We feel that way,Authentic Virgil Green Jersey,” Brady said. “We’ve lost a game. There’s definitely urgency. You learn a lot from losses. Everyone wants to get the bad taste out of his mouth. Anytime you lose, that’s how you feel. I’m sure they feel that way... We’re going to have to play good to beat them. Hopefully we can go and execute,Womens Joe Haden Jersey, make a bunch of plays. That’ll take care of a lot of things for us.”
On Wednesday the team placed starting right tackle Menelik Watson on season-ending injured reserve and signed former Buffalo Bills tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. Watson, who had been dealing with a calf injury that sidelined him for the Broncos' Week 7 loss at Los Angeles, injured his foot last Sunday in Denver's loss at Philadelphia.
The Broncos signed Watson as a free agent in March to take over the starting job from Donald Stephenson, a 2016 free-agent acquisition who struggled in his first season with the Broncos with injury and performance. Watson signed a three-year,Authentic Ryan Shazier Jersey, $18.375 million contract that included $5.5 million guaranteed at signing and an average annual salary of $6.125 million.
Watson spent the first four years of his NFL career in Oakland, where he dealt with a string of injuries that limited his time on the field. When he arrived in Denver, he expressed hope that the Broncos' training staff could help him get physically healthy and stay on the field.
In his seven starts this season, per STATS, Watson was charged with 7.5 sacks allowed, LLC.
Stephenson, has missed the last two games because of a calf injury. And earlier in the season, who restructured his contract during the offseason to increase his guaranteed money to $2.5 million for 2017 and eliminate his salary for 2018, the Broncos placed backup lineman Billy Turner on injured reserve with a hand fracture.
The spate of injuries on the line leaves Elijah Wilkinson as the Broncos' only other fully healthy backup at tackle. Wilkinson was promoted to the active roster when Turner was placed on IR and has been active for one game but has played zero offensive snaps.
a second-round pick by the Bills out of Alabama in 2014,Kouandjio, 325-pound veteran started five games at left tackle in 2016, started seven of 25 games in Buffalo over his first three seasons and was charged with only two sacks. The 6-foot-7, helping an offense that finished first in the NFL with 2,630 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns.
In June, he signed a one-year contract with the Lions and competed with the team in preseason, but he was cut in late August as Detroit pared its final roster.
Kouandjio will wear jersey No. 79 with the Broncos.
The Broncos also re-signed offensive lineman Dillon Day to the practice squad and waived reciever Tim Patrick. Day signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and spent most of his two-plus seasons on the practice team. He was waived Oct. 24 as the Broncos' shuffled their roster to account for injuries, and was claimed by the Colts. Indianapolis waived Day on Monday.
Add it to the list of things that haven't gone the way the Broncos had hoped, but right tackle Menelik Watson's attempt to have "a good, healthy season'' ended Wednesday when Denver moved him to injured reserve.
Coach Vance Joseph said the injury that moved Watson to IR is a torn tendon in his foot, although Watson is also dealing with a calf injury.
Watson, who had never played more than 12 games in any of his previous four seasons in the league because of a variety of injuries, had consistently expressed the hope that his work with the Broncos' training staff would improve his odds.
But Watson originally suffered his calf injury in the Broncos' Oct. 15 loss to the Giants and then missed the following game -- against the Chargers. He had been limited in practice in the weeks since, but had started the Broncos' last two games -- losses to the Chiefs and the Eagles.
After Sunday's 51-23 loss to the Eagles, when Watston injured his foot, Womens Darian Stewart Jersey,he was clearly in discomfort as he limped from the training room through the locker room. The Broncos have signed former Buffalo Bills tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to the roster.
Kouandjio started seven games in 2015 and 2016 combined for the Bills. The Broncos had started Allen Barbre in Watson's right tackle spot against the Chargers, in what was a difficult day for Barbre and the Broncos' offensive line overall in the shut-out loss.
Watson was one of the Broncos' first targets in free agency this past offseason, when he signed a three-year, Authentic Cameron Heyward Jersey,along with guard Ron Leary, $18.75 million deal with the team. He has flourished at times in the run game but has been inconsistent in pass protection as the Broncos have struggled to protect their quarterbacks.
The Broncos have allowed 28 sacks in eight games -- tied with the Texans for the third-highest total in the league.
In four previous seasons with the Raiders, Watson missed time in every season with injuries, including previous calf and groin injuries to go with a ruptured Achilles tendon that cost him the entire 2015 season.
But when he signed with the Broncos, he said he hoped he had left those issues behind him.
'' Watson said back in March. "We've got the best strength staff in the world. I've talked diligently with those guys. Me moving forward in my career,"That is why I'm here, along with their assistants, I've done a lot of learning my first four years in the NFL ... I'm putting myself in the best place, are some of the greatest in the world. We can put all of those things in the past and just move on, focus on getting on the field and just smashing heads together.''
everything. But the main thing is McVay, who also calls the offensive plays,Well, took an offense that was last in the NFL in yards each of the past two seasons and turned it into what appears to be,Womens Virgil Green Jersey, well,030 yards, 13 TDs, a juggernaut. Jared Goff (2,Womens Brandon Marshall Jersey, and the offensive linemen and wide receivers are clicking in ways they haven’t in a long time., 4 INTs) suddenly looks legitimate as a second-year quarterback, Todd Gurley (686 yards, 7 TDs) is an elite running back once again
but let’s give it a shot. McVay has been burning a lot of early timeouts,Womens Cameron Heyward Jersey,We’d be splitting hairs here,Authentic Joe Haden Jersey, but special teams coordinator John Fassel, will tell you he has been using them to get out of bad plays. So that’s fine. McVay also has found himself diagramming the next offensive series while his team is on defense, but that’s intentional because he has so much faith in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. No problem there, either. So,Womens Ryan Shazier Jersey, who assists him on game day, this section will merely present an opportunity to point out what makes McVay special: He’s a natural leader who came in with a clear message, held players accountable and ultimately changed the culture.
McDermott has brought a much-needed culture change to Buffalo after two years of Rex Ryan’s loose style of coaching. He has created what many players believe to be a more cohesive locker room in which teammates are more familiar with one another, even outside of their position groups. On the field, McDermott has led a team that did not fall behind by seven points in any game until last Thursday’s sloppy loss to the Jets. Despite three turnovers in that defeat, Buffalo still leads the NFL with a plus-11 turnover margin. The Bills are in line to receive the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs, which would end the franchise’s 17-year postseason drought.
a loss -- but will have four games against teams (Saints,The Bills rank 26th in yards gained on offense per game (303.8) and 21st in yards allowed on defense per game (344.6). They are one of six teams to rank 20th or worse on both sides of the ball and the only one with a winning record. The Bills played only one team in the first half of their schedule that had a winning record after Week 9 -- the Panthers, Chiefs, who have seen negative trends in recent weeks. The Bills allowed a league-low 14.8 points per game from Weeks 1-5 but have allowed 25 points per game since Week 6, Patriots) with winning records over the second half of the season. That could point to a late slide by the Bills, tied for 14th-worst in the NFL. The Bills also have been the second-most penalized team over the past two weeks, with 22 penalties for 194 yards.
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