Column: Broncos and Patriots show their flaws
Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 00:10
This weekend in football consisted of predictable wins, hard losses and several upsets for teams and fans around the nation. The two games that particularly stood out to me were Patriots-Bengals and Broncos-Cowboys.
Early on in the season, both teams, along with a few others, were undefeated. With the help of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady’s spectacular performances in the first few games, both the Broncos and Patriots were deemed unbeatable, or nearly impossible to defeat.
Some may argue that Manning and Brady are two of the best quarterbacks in history; others may claim that one is, in fact, the best. Regardless of opinions, both quarterbacks have had phenomenal starts to this season and have propelled their teams to be dominant forces in their leagues.
Within the first five games alone, the players statistics show how much of an impact they make on the field and what a huge asset they are to the game. Their skill and technique is unlike any other. Their work ethic and determination is infallible and it reflects on the teams and performance each week.
Tom Brady has thrown seven touchdown passes and racked up 1,211 throwing yards. He has only thrown three interceptions thus far.
Peyton Manning may have actually gotten even better after his neck surgery in 2011. A mere five games into this season, Manning has thrown 20 touchdown passes and recorded a total of 1,884 passing yards with just a single interception.
However, this weekend the Bengals and Cowboys each stepped up their game and revealed the Patriots’ and Broncos’ flaws. If you didn’t already know this, the Bengals beat the Patriots 13-6 breaking their perfect record; and although the Cowboys lost to the Broncos, they challenged Manning and his team in a battle that lasted until the very end.
The Cincinnati Bengals improved their record to 3-2 and showed their true potential in beating the Patriots. This was a highly anticipated game because many believed that the Bengals were better than what their record showed. Geno Atkins sacked Brady on his first pass attempt of the game and the Bengals didn’t give up there; they managed to sack Brady a total of four times throughout the matchup.
Also, the Cincinnati defense didn’t allow the New England quarterback to throw a single touchdown pass, thus shattering Brady’s record of 52 consecutive games in which he threw a touchdown.
Furthermore, the Bengals defense kept New England out of the end zone for the entire game. This was the first time since 2009 that the Pats did not score a touchdown. The Bengals truly stepped up their game and shut down not only Brady but the whole New England team as well. Cincinnati defense targeted Brady and shut him down, thus allowing the win.
However, in the case of the Broncos-Cowboys game, it wasn’t a matter of the Cowboys defense shutting Manning down, it was Tony Romo stepping up. This high-scoring game was a battle between the quarterbacks until the very end.
The Cowboys started off strong in the beginning of the game with a 14-0 lead over the Broncos with 3:15 left in the first quarter. However, in the second half the tables were turned and it almost became a Broncos blowout until the Cowboys defense finally stopped Manning. After the defense avoided a near disaster, Romo threw an 82-yard touchdown to rookie Terrance Williams that cut Denver’s lead to 35-27 in the third.
Romo threw for 506 total yards with five touchdowns throughout this game. Combined, the two teams had 1,039 yards of total offense, making it the second-highest offensive game in regulation since 1970. It was truly a back-and-forth battle between quarterbacks that ended with weakness from Romo.
In the final two minutes of the game, Denver’s Danny Trevanthan intercepted Romo’s pass inside the Dallas 30 to set up the win for the Broncos. Kicker Matt Prater kicked a 28-yard field goal to beat the Cowboys 51-48. Although the Cowboys defense couldn’t contain Manning, they challenged the Broncos in other ways.
Both of these games show that these unbeatable teams can be beaten. It won’t be easy but it is possible. For both situations it is necessary for the defense to shut off the main power source of the team: the quarterback. The Bengals completely shut down Brady thus resulting in their win. Although it may be nearly impossible to shut down Manning, opposing defenses needs to outsmart Manning and Co. Stay tuned for more exciting games; this season is just heating up.