Beating Denver in Denver is no easy task and beating Peyton Manning in Denver ... well that's another matter entirely. Victory has already been circled for Denver ... now what are you going to do about it. No disrespect to the Chargers, as that is going to be one of the most difficult on the schedule, so the only thing on our players minds should be in defeating Phillip Rivers this week but this isn't directed at the players ... it's directed a our coaching staff. As Belichick said, "Players win games ... coaches lose them". Players aren't given the luxury of multitasking but coaches are different.
There are definite keys to this upcoming game. Although a poor comparison for obvious reasons, the finesse of the 98 Vikings remind me very much of today's Denver squad. The premise is that Peyton will gain the lead where the defense is designed to take advantage of a team that shifts exclusively into the pass only phase. Facing Tony Dungee in Tampa in 98 was a prelude to the following championship game where both the Bucs and the Dirty Birds were going to pound the rock physically ... regardless of the outcome. In other words, the 98 Buc's and Falcons were running teams and they refused to abandon that phase of their game.
Will Peyton gain an early lead? In any other game, it may not be so important however in this instance, there is no way Peyton can live with anything near a close game. What he understands unequivocally is that the moment that we give up on the running game ... we are done.
Was it just me or did Chris Berman tell us in San Francisco that there were 7 DB's standing on the goal line, with three easily beaten defensive lineman, where Adrian Peterson was on our bench. What would have happened if AD was in taking a gaggle of blockers down the field with him? What were we thinking? Playmakers don't come off the field when you need to score ... it's just that simple
Defeating Von Miller & Demarcus Ware requires running at them ... again ... and again ... and again. Denver's defense wants no part of Peterson, McKinnon or especially the bruising Asiata. These knuckleheads are designed for rushing the passer. San Francisco's 3-tight end sets sends an undeniable message ... we are going to punish anything that stands in our way. It's time for the offense to punish Denver's defense like our defense recently punished Stafford.
How many more times are we going the
outrun our blockers. Sometimes the objective is not to run as fast as you
can to your opponents goal line ... sometimes the objective is to absorb your
blockers into your return. That can happen by changing direction,
attacking the center of the field (inside hip) running away from the sideline
once the 2nd level has been beaten. Patterson instinctively understands
this. This simple trick could have helped Sendejo and Sherrel's on their
returns. It may have helped also Peterson on that broken field dump
pass. It's just like basketball where your next best pass might be behind