Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 12/17/11
Denver-broncos-rookie

The Tim Tebow show has arrived for Patriots fans. Cam Newton is having a great rookie season, much better than Tebow’s sophomore campaign. However, the difference is Denver has a very good defense compared to Carolina’s sorry bunch. The Broncos have two great edge rushers in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

Though he’s getting up there in age, Champ Bailey still shuts down half the field. DJ Williams is a downright terror, just picture a healthy Jonathan Vilma. Brian Dawkins is a little long in the tooth but still plays at a high level and provides the type of veteran leadership that Denver needs that his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles lack. Young players like Robert Ayers and Andre Goodman are starters who add to the talent pool.

The Broncos defense is fast, especially on the edges and this allows them to drop seven into coverage while still applying stifling pressure on the quarterback. This will be the Patriots big issue as teams that have a shut down corner will put him on Wes Welker and that leaves a double team on Rob Gronkowski. If that is effective, the Patriots offense will struggle and Tebow time could be in effect.

The Broncos defense has the personnel and ability to switch in and out of the 4-3 to the 3-4 seamlessly, and this poses a problem for Tom Brady. Brady likes to take as much time to get a defense to declare, and if the Broncos can switch at the last minute, the blocking schemes will get crossed. Now, that’s bad new when you have two great edge rushers that get turned loose at any time. Unlike most edge rushers, that flexibility will get someone loose and Brady will have to get rid of the ball quick.

A guy to look out for is Williams, a big fast outside linebacker who adds to the pressure from the edge. With Miller and Dumervil on the outside, he’ll blitz up the middle most of the time. William is also an adept coverage LB, so he’ll be banging on Gronkowski every chance he gets.

While Tebow may get the headlines, the defense makes the fine print readable.

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