AFC Championship Game Preview: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

The NFL Playoffs continue with the AFC Championship Game featuring the  2nd-seeded New England Patriots visiting the 1st-seeded Denver BroncosThe ITP editors have collected our coverage of these two teams from the 2015 season.

New England

Aidan Curran broke down the composition of the Patriots’ defensive line at the start of the season, and found that Bill Belichick built a versatile unit.

New England used a four tight end package at the goal line in their Week One matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dave Archibald examined the mismatches it can cause.

Brian Filipiak looked at the wham packages that the Patriots use with Rob Gronkowski to illustrate the tight end’s contributions in the running game.

Matthew Slater has a huge impact on the Patriots, and this was apparent when the special teams ace snuffed out a fake punt by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tight end Michael Williams mainly contributes in the running game and his talents, as well as his size, make him a very effective blocker.

The Patriots’ ground game has had recent success against the Indianapolis Colts, and Filipiak explains the schemes that have made that success possible.

Mark Schofield looks at the play action passing concepts that the Patriots used prior to their Week 6 matchup with the Colts.

Nate Solder was placed on injured reserve in the middle of the season, and Curran examined the depth at the offensive tackle position on the roster.

The Patriots used a versatile set of plays against the Miami Dolphins for an opening score touchdown.

Flipiak shows how teamwork by the Patriots’ defense foiled a screen pass and led to a sack for Chandler Jones against the Dolphins.

The Patriots were trailing 20-10 against the New York Giants in the third quarter, but a big punt return by Danny Amendola put the offense in a position to score easily and put New England back in the game.

Going into their Week 12 game against the Denver Broncos, New England’s wide receiver corps was banged up. Former NFL scout Dan Hatman explained how the Patriots would cope with the problem.

Chuck Zodda explains what went wrong when the Philadelphia Eagles blocked a Ryan Allen punt in Week 13.

Ted Nguyen illustrated how the Patriots’ versatile approach created significant matchup difficulties for face opposing defenses.

Belichick always stresses that the team play 60 minutes and execute in every phase of the game, and that includes the tandem of punter Ryan Allen and punt gunner Matthew Slater, who help make the New England punt unit so effective.


New England’s passing attack is very effective, but why are they so much better than the rest of the league when passing over 80 percent of the time?

The Patriots were able to stop the Chiefs on a crucial early drive with the help of Patrick Chung’s muscle.


Dave Archibald shows how the Broncos topped the Baltimore Ravens in their season opener by winning the turnover battle.

Denver was able to disrupt quarterback Teddy Bridgewater by utilizing the overload blitz as Brian Filipiak shows us.

Archibald breaks down the Broncos offense in this preview of their matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

Daniel Syed shows how a lapse by Denver’s defense led to their loss to the Oakland Raiders.

The Broncos turned to Peyton Manning in the second half of their game against the San Diego Chargers that earned them the top seed in the AFC.

Brandon Colquitt may not have the biggest leg, but he makes up for it with his superb directional punting.

Enjoy the New England Patriots at Denver Broncos game!

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Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking down matchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.

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