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Peyton Manning vs. Patriots secondary
After facing young, electric, and mobile quarterback Cam Newton in Week 11, the Patriots have to change their mentality entirely for their Week 12 matchup with Peyton Manning and the Broncos. One of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Manning is having arguably the best season of his Hall of Fame career, throwing for 3,572 yards, 34 touchdowns, and six interceptions on the year. He is 16 touchdown passes away from tying the NFL single-season record of 50 that was set by Tom Brady in 2007. Manning has had mixed success in his career against the Patriots; he performed extremely well in his only start against them as a member of the Broncos, throwing for 337 yards and three touchdowns in Denver’s loss.
The Patriots secondary has been one of the better units in the league in 2013, allowing 2,292 yards in the air for 10th in the NFL. They also have held opposing quarterbacks to the second-lowest completion percentage in the league at just 56.7 percent. The Patriots have, however, given up 16 passing touchdowns on the year, tied for 15th in the league. It looks like safety Steve Gregory may be able to return after missing the game against Carolina with in injured thumb, but the key for the Patriots secondary will be what they can get out of Aqib Talib, who missed four weeks after injuring his hip and appeared to possibly have reinjured it against the Panthers. The Patriots secondary will have their hands full with the Broncos’ four-pronged receiving corps of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, and Julius Thomas, though Julius Thomas could miss the game with a knee injury he suffered against Kansas City. Next