The Broncos ran all over, around, and through the Patriots defense in the first quarter. They pummelled the Pats to the tune of 167 rushing yards. Not pretty, and we hadn’t even reached Tebow Time yet.
But then, the Broncos rushed no more. Or at least, the gaping holes that existed in the first quarter, closed up. After Andre Carter went down to injury on the final play of the quarter, the Patriots switched from a 4-3 base defense, to a 3-4 in the second quarter. That change seemed to settle down the troops, as the Broncos only gained 15 yards rushing in the second quarter. The defense also produced two turnovers that led to a field goal and touchdown for the offense. Suddenly a 13-7 first quarter deficit turned into a 27-16 halftime lead.
Linebacker Jerod Mayo credited safeties coach and defensive play caller Matt Patricia with changing up the defense from what they had worked on all week to try and shut down Tebow and the Broncos offense. (more…)