1. These are Bill's Boys. Think NFC East back in the glory days of the Giants and Skins. Tough running, defensive minded teams that use play-action to open up the passing game. Sound Familiar? If any coach understands how the Broncos' play football its Bill Parcells. If you look at it the ‘Boys are nearly identical save the fact that we have Jake Plummer and I could outrun their quarterback. Prediction: Three yard's and a cloud of dust...lot's and lot's of time consuming grind it out running and good run D.
2. Bootin'. As stated above one thing the Broncos have that the Boys don't is the ability to bootleg. The Bootleg creates one of two problems for a defense. Either you leave somebody at home backside and take that guy out of the pursuit (thereby making it easier to run) or you allow the quarterback choose to throw or run from "open space". Prediction: Parcells coaches his team as well as anyone, someone WILL stay home on the backside to play the boot but in doing so will weaken the Cowboy run D.
3. The lullaby of pounding feet. What does a great running game give you? Play action baby!! Both of these teams use play action to open up the secondary for the long ball. Lelie is a better threat down the field than is Glenn, however Bledsoe throws a FAR better long ball than Plummer. Look for the Broncos to open up during the scripted 15 with a couple balls deep. Prediction: I have no idea other than both teams will take shots deep off play action.
4. Snap, Crackle...POP!! Tackling. Both teams are pretty good at it. Both teams swarm to the ball. Did I mention these teams are REAL similar? Prediction: somebody, I don't know who, but somebody will get JACK'D UP on Thursday!!
5. Dat guys pretty good...But so is Al. Between Dat Nguyen and Al Wilson you have two of the most notable "Motor" guys in football. Wilson is bigger and stronger but Nguyen has NO quit in him. Unfortunately for Nguyen, Tom Nalen excels at getting to the second level and taking linebackers out of the game. Nguyen's height also becomes a liability in pass defense against taller tight ends. Prediction: the Bronco triumvirate of Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell and seldom used Cecil Sapp wear out the Dallas D by the first part of the fourth quarter allowing the Broncs to put the game away.
6. Size 13..and could you fill those with Cement? I like Drew Bledsoe...no really I do....I posted in my preseason predictions that he would have a pro bowl year in '05. However, he runs like a plow horse. Drew throws the ball better down the field....Jake has better escape ability and opens up the bootleg. Prediction: Bledsoe WILL take some big hits on Thursday....I just hope those hit's come before he gets the ball away.
7. Similar teams, similar coaches...similar records. That tells me this should be a pretty tough fought game. You have to give the edge to Dallas because of the short week of preparation (they do this every year) and home field advantage. I think you have to give the Broncos the edge talent wise. Prediction: I'm not going to put numbers up because I don't think you can in this game...It's just too close, I will however predict that the team that wins the turnover battle will win the game.
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