Oct 7, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shakes hands with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) following the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Did you know that the Patriots are playing Peyton Manning and Wes Welker this week? After one of the best games of the year (despite the result), its now time for one of the most hyped and discussed matchups. So let’s take a look at what people are saying. Buckle up!
Starting with Bleacher Report, they’ve put together a slide show looking at the previous editions of ‘Brady vs Manning‘ – slide 5 is my favourite. Steve Keane has also taken a look at how the Patriots defence could try to slow down Manning, Welker and the rest of the Denver offence. It is a long read, but some great detail and even a slight reason to think it could happen.
While ‘Brady vs Manning’ and the return of Welker have been the dominant story lines this week, another overlooked aspect of this week’s game is Belichick vs Manning, explored by Jeff Legwold over at ESPN. This is the 21st time that a Manning-led offence has gone against a Belichick defence. The Hoodie leads the series 11-9.
Moving on to player-focused pieces, there are three that are good reads today. The first is over at the Boston Herald, which explores how there is a common theme among the NFL’s most potent offences of recent years: Wes Welker. Rant Sports, meanwhile, are looking at the Pats side of the ball. On defence, the versatility of Devin McCourty is vital to covering for the range of injuries in the secondary (if only he could play coverage LB and maybe some D-Line too). On the offensive side, Shane Vereen is once again the subject of focus – this time, whether he should be given a greater number of rush attempts to go along with his catches out of the backfield and slot work.
As a final note from the game against the Panthers, Bill Barnwell over at Grantland (personally one of my favourite writers) wrote this about the Patriots poor execution being a problem more than the officiating.
Plus, isn’t everyone glad we didn’t sign Ed Reed?