Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
You only need to surprise Bill Belichick. Easy. Right?
After awhile reading and writing about the NFL every single day, you start to find others lie you who obsess about the film and know their respective teams inside and out. The Pats’ Pulpit’s Taylor Kyles is one such individual. With the Broncos and Patriots game on the horizon, I had the opportunity to chat about the matchup.
Between Purcell (98) and Shelby Harris (96), running inside on the Broncos just wasn’t a viable option. I’m pissed we don’t get to see a Miller-Harris-Purcell-Casey-Chubb front.
Hat tip to the Broncos front office for putting together one of the best DL’s in football pic.twitter.com/LHAbWvwMK2
— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) October 8, 2020
Kyles: I’ve got no insider info there so I can’t give a great answer there, but reports have made it sound like it’ll be Hoyer against the Broncos
Cam’s mobility seems like the easiest thing to point to, but how else does it change what the Patriots can do?
Kyles: The red zone offense will be impacted most because Cam is their red zone offense, as we saw against Seattle. But N’Keal Harry gives them a big target down there and McDaniels does a good job using his backs in different ways.
Then of course you won’t see the zone/power read, triple/speed, QB draws, and other designed QB runs you’ve seen with Cam. Stidham has more mobility than Hoyer but they’ll move the pocket for both.
Hoyer was benched for Stidham last week. Do you think it could happen again?
Kyles: I’m hoping it was just first game jitters because Hoyer knows the offense better than anyone outside of Edelman and he’s a great mentor. But if he continues to make mental lapses that cost points, I do think Stidham gets the call after showing promise against a shifty KC defense
Stidham gives you a live arm, he’s fearless, and has tremendous touch and accuracy on deep throws. He’s young so you’ll have to live with some lumps as you do with any player without a ton of live experience, but he doesn’t play scared and offers legitimate improvisational ability and a history of winning
Moving beyond the QB question, one thing I’m really fascinated to watch is this Fangio run defense against the Pats. They run a ton of 21 personnel! Do you think they can find success on the ground?
Kyles: I’m not sure how DEN‘s injury situation will affect their personnel and front usage, but if they decide to cover up the Patriots interior offensive line and force the run outside, the Broncos have the speed and tenacity to force NE to pass. That’s assuming the Broncos are able to pull away on the scoreboard and make the Pats adjust.
What do you see a Broncos win looking like in this game?
Kyles: Offensively, the Broncos will need to be comfortable with check downs in the open field, exploit matchups in the passing game with Lindsay and Gordon on the field together, and have some new plays up your sleeve in the red area to catch NE off guard.
Defensively, I could see them getting aggressive with blitzes and loaded boxes on early downs to stop the run and force pass. On 3rd downs they’ll probably try to pick on the CBs, especially Ojemudia.
The Patriots’ 1st down coverage rotations were an absolute nightmare Monday night
To Mahomes’ credit, he took short throws when NE gave them and did a great job anticipating space on a corner to Kelce
— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) October 8, 2020
Did you study Brett Rypien coming out and since? Any thoughts?
Kyles: Yeah I was a huge fan of him coming out because he’s got some gunslinger in him where there‘s just no fear and some pro throws. But if he tries to get cute he’s gonna throw picks against a NE secondary that loves rotating zone coverages early.
How about Michael Ojemudia?
Kyles: Yeah I keyed in on him while watching a couple games. Long guy who plays aggressive and breaks on the ball quickly from off. Could see them throwing some double moves at him with Byrd.
How do you expect Belichick to attack the Broncos offense?
Kyles: Lately he’s been pressing the edges and letting QBs sit in the pocket because his coverage always holds up. Could just force whoever’s at QB to make their own mistakes.
Even without Gilmore, do you think they run a slew of man coverage?
Kyles: Yeah their corners have been in the system a long time and has a ton of chemistry. Won’t be the same without Gilmore of course but JC Jackson and Jason McCourty can hold their own outside
How would you attack the Broncos’ defense?
Kyles: I think attacking the Broncos CBs and having success on play action will ultimately be the difference for the Pats offensively
Kyles: I usually steer clear is predictions but I’d expect close game to start with the Pats pulling away late.