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Broncos' Emmanuel Sanders denies that Malcolm Butler shut him down

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27 August 2016 Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian participates in pregame warmups before playing against the Los Angeles Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver Co

"We really only have three receivers on the depth chart right now and it's just a place where we could use some help", Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show. "One was close and one was not".

The 2015 regular season ended with a disappointing effort on the road vs. the Jets (a 26-20 loss to a 10-win team) and a weird 20-10 road loss to a 6-10 Dolphins team. Denver's run defense is along the lines of the more-name-than-game variety.

The defense hung in and stood tall, forcing another three plays and out. Though Brady couldn't move the chains, Gostkowski made no mistake with the 45-yard field goal. Overall, the Broncos' offense sputtered against the Patriots, going 2-12 on third downs. The vaunted zone blocking scheme that Kubiak implements wherever he goes has been remarkably bad with anyone who touches the football at the running back position, including 2014 Pro Bowler C.J. Anderson who is one of Denver's most prized offensive weapons.

The second of those losses is likely still sticking in Brady's craw.

Siemian kept grooving down the field, starting from deep in his own territory, but hooking up with Thomas and even, he exists, Jeff Heuerman for plays of 31 and nine yards. You look at that man beside you and you say, 'I'm out here playing for him. On the Patriots touchdown drive, Brady hit Edelman on passes of 17, 15, and 12 yards to set up the score.

While Blount is much more elusive than he gets credit for, the difference in how the two backs elude tackles is significant. That's been one of the best things this season has been no huddle.

Of course, none of those five wins have come against teams with offenses or QBs ranking in the top half of the league. Denver could only manage 58 yards on the ground as the interior of the defense took away the run and the linebackers filled the holes extremely well. It wasn't until the middle of the second half that Siemian and the Broncos offence got a first down in the second half. We'll explore that later. After falling 13-10 to the Tennessee Titans (just two weeks after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime) the Broncos are on the verge of elimination. "They played well enough to win, and they held that team to 16 points, which a lot of teams don't do". What's less debatable is that the Patriots defense shut down Sanders and the rest of the Broncos offense in all of the coverages they deployed over the course of Sunday's game. He has completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,064 yards, with 22 TDs and two interceptions. They will do so with one more Giants loss. Ward, and were stopped on 4th-and-3 inside field goal range. But given the results - they rank sixth in points and fourth in yards per game - it would be hard to argue that it has not been a successful change. "We feel like we played nearly good enough defense to win that game. I mean everyone is there for Denver", said Patriots safety Devin McCourty in his press conference earlier this week.

Former Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe (R) and his brother former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Sterling Sharpe pose with Shannon Sharpe's bust at the Enshrinement Ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011 in Canton, Ohio. I picked the Broncos to upset the Patriots and win both games for a simple reason: The Broncos were better than the Pats - better roster, better health and, last season, better coached.

Will Keys is an Editor for Mile High Huddle.

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