Not many teams can stop the Denver Broncos' rushing attack, but the New England Patriots haven't allowed much on the ground lately.
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan has repeated one statistic this week – in the second half of the season the Patriots allowed 2.9 yards per rushing attempt. That doesn't count a regular-season finale against Miami when the Patriots rested many starters.
"That's unprecedented," Shanahan said.
The matchup will be strength vs. strength. The Broncos won't give up their running game. They were second in the NFL with 33.9 rushing attempts per game.
"We're going to still stick to what we do," receiver Ashley Lelie said. "We don't worry too much about what they're doing. We got our plan and our system and we'll stick with it."
The Broncos rushed for 178 yards against New England on Oct. 16. But the Patriots were missing some key players in that game, including defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Tedy Bruschi.
The Broncos will try to exploit whatever they can on New England's defense, but they know that it will be difficult to find any.
"If you do pick up a weakness, it's not there very long," Shanahan said. "You have to adjust throughout the whole game, and they are fundamentally sound. They play good solid football."
--CB Darrent Williams should play on Saturday. He has a groin injury but
has practiced all week. The Broncos don't know how he'll react in a game
situation, however. Denver wasn't testing him too hard during practice early
in the week because the Broncos didn't want to set him back.
--G Ben Hamilton has had a very good season. He'll be important on
Saturday against New England, getting to the Patriots' talented inside
linebackers on Denver's zone running plays.
--LB Al Wilson's biggest asset this year is his mental approach. He's not
getting by on physical talent alone. He is seeing the game well and
anticipating better than he ever has in his career.
--SS Nick Ferguson will be important in run support against New England.
If the Patriots can get their running game going against Denver, it will
make Tom Brady even more dangerous.
--WR Ashley Lelie has played a pretty solid all around game in recent
weeks. Lelie is a good deep threat but has caught some short passes lately.
He would help Denver's offense be more diverse if he can become a complete
Got something to say on tomorrow's playoff match up?
Voice your opinion on our Broncos Hardcore Message Board
Denver Broncos Hot Topics - Fri. Jan 13
Mile High Huddle Top Stories
FLASH SALE: Get 5 Months Of Premium For $5Today only, get five months of a Mile High Huddle premium membership for $5!
Mile High Huddle7:42 AM
2 New Veteran D-Linemen On Denver's RadarThe Broncos are looking to sign a couple free agent defensive linemen and two new options recently emerged on the market.
Mile High HuddleTuesday at 6:20 PM
Finding Broncos: 5 Prospects To Avoid At 20Senior Draft Analyst Erick Trickel takes a look at five prospects that are getting first round talk, but shouldn’t be. All five are players that the Broncos should avoid taking at…
Mile High HuddleMonday at 6:14 PM
5 Veteran QBs Who Make Sense For DenverThe Broncos might bring in a veteran quarterback in 2017. Publisher Chad Jensen breaks down five veteran signal-callers who could make sense.
Mile High HuddleSaturday at 2:24 AM
5 Reasons You Should Go Premium TodayMile High Huddle readers can benefit by signing up for a premium membership in many ways. We talk about the top-5 ways here.
Mile High Huddle02/16/2017