Much like blue jeans, art, whiskey, decision-making, cheese and John Slattery, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady only seems to get better with age.
Brady, 39, is playing some of the best football of his career since coming back in Week 5 from a four-game suspension stemming from the Deflategate controversy. In nine games, Brady has thrown for 2,876 yards, 22 touchdowns, two interceptions and 8.5 yards per attempt. His 0.6 interception rate is the best in the NFL, and his 68.5 completion percentage is third out of all qualifying passers.
Brady, as Pro Football Focus pointed out in a recent analysis, is making every throw in the books effectively. Brady torched the Baltimore Ravens for 367 yards and three touchdowns last Monday even though he was without his most dangerous weapon, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is out for the rest of the season.
There’s a strong case to be made that Brady is enjoying the second-best year of his career. (Note: 2007, the year Brady went Super Saiyan alongside Randy Moss, was the best.)
On Sunday, he’ll get to face the Broncos’ pass defense, which is far and away the NFL’s best. Denver is giving up a microscopic 183.5 yards through the air per game, which is 18.3 yards fewer than the next-closest team. In 13 games, the Broncos’ pass D has picked off more passes (12) than the number of touchdowns (10) it’s surrendered.
Sunday will be a good test for both sides.
The Von Miller oversized glasses matchup to keep an eye on
LeGarrette Blount vs. Denver’s run defense.
A lot has been made about how good Denver’s pass defense is. There’s also been a lot made about the drop-off the Broncos’ run defense has experienced this year.
The Titans had their way running the ball against Denver in the first half last weekend. So don’t be surprised if Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who loves to pick at opponents’ weak spots, draws up a game plan that involves a whole lot of Blount trying to run it right down Denver’s throats.
Blount is averaging a career-high 19.1 rushing attempts per game, and the 6-foot-1, 245-pound back already has 1,029 yards on the ground this season. Look for him to do his best bowling ball impression Sunday.
How to watch the game
When: 2:25 p.m.
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Patriots 24, Broncos 14
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