Broncos-Patriots: Week 12 Game Notes

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Eric Decker

After knocking off the previously unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs last week, the Denver Broncos (9-1) will try to stay atop the AFC standings when they travel to Foxborough, Mass., to square off against the New England Patriots (7-3) on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST.

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya will call the prime time game telecast on NBC.

 

QUICK HITS

  • The Broncos own a 25-18 (.581) all-time record against the Patriots in the regular season, including a 9-9 mark in road games.

  • Broncos QB Peyton Manning has posted a 4-3 record in his last seven head-to-head matchups with Patriots QB Tom Brady after dropping the first six meetings between the two in his career.

  • Denver has forced an NFL-best 13 takeaways in the 4th quarter this season and owns a +6 turnover margin in the final frame.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR vs. PATRIOTS

CB CHAMP BAILEY (34 INTs as a Bronco)

  • Needs one Interception to pass Tyrone Braxton (34) for sole possession of 4th place on the team’s all-time Interceptions list.

WR ERIC DECKER (25 career TD receptions)

  • Needs one Touchdown catch to pass Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Marshall for the most scoring receptions in team history through a player’s first four seasons.

QB PEYTON MANNING (34 TDs in ‘13; 71 passing TDs/8,231 yds. as a Bronco)

  • Needs three passing Touchdowns to tie the franchise single season record he set last year and tie Craig Morton for the 2nd most in Broncos history.

  • Needs 203 passing yards to tie Kyle Orton (8,434) for sixth on the Broncos’ all-time list.

RB KNOWSHON MORENO (8 rushing TDs, 336 rec. yards in 2013)

  • Needs two rushing Touchdowns to record the 10th individual season in Broncos history with double-digit rushing scores. Moreno also needs 35 receiving yards to tie a career high (371 in 2010).

WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS (25 career TD receptions; 914 yds. in 2013 )

  • Needs one Touchdown catch to pass Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall for the most scoring receptions in team history through a player’s first four seasons.

  • Needs 86 receiving yards to become just the 8th player in Broncos history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

TE JULIUS THOMAS (10 rec. TDs in 2013)

  • Needs one Touchdown catch to pass Shannon Sharpe (1996, ‘98) for the most by a Tight End in a single season in team history.

WR WES WELKER (9 TDs in 2013)

  • Needs one touchdown catch to set a career high (2011).

 

OFFENSIVE NOTES

  • The Broncos have topped 40 points in five games (the most in team history in a season), including back-to-back 50-point outputs in Weeks 4-5.

  • QB Peyton Manning, who was signed by the Broncos on March 21, 2012, is the league’s only four-time MVP and the NFL’s active leader in nearly every major passing category.

  • Manning owns the 2nd-most regular-season wins (163) by a starting Quarterback in NFL history, trailing only Brett Favre in that category.

  • Peyton has orchestrated an NFL-record 50 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

  • Eric Decker is one of just three players in franchise history with at least eight receiving Touchdowns in consecutive seasons.

  • WR Demaryius Thomas posted a career-high 1,434 receiving yards in 2012 to represent the 3rd-highest total in team history.

  • Thomas ranked 2nd in the NFL with 18 receptions of 25+ yards in 2012.

  • WR Wes Welker owns 829 career receptions, trailing only Broncos Ring of Fame Wide Receiver Rod Smith (849) among undrafted players in league history.

  • RB Knowshon Moreno ranks 3rd in the NFL with a career-high eight rushing Touchdowns.

 

DEFENSIVE NOTES

  • Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio’s defenses have ranked in the league’s Top 6 in yards per game allowed in nine of his 15 seasons as a position coach, coordinator or head coach.

  • The Broncos rank 4th in the NFL in run defense (92.7 ypg) and have allowed the 5th-fewest yards per rush (3.7) in the league through 11 weeks.

  • CB Champ Bailey was named to his 12th career Pro Bowl in 2012 to set a record for defensive backs and become one of just 10 players in NFL history with a dozen selections.

  • His 52 career Interceptions rank 1st among all active NFL Cornerbacks and are 3rd among all players since entering the league in 1999.

  • LB Wesley Woodyard was the only player in the NFL last year and just the 12th player since at least 1982 to record 100 Tackles, five Sacks and three Interceptions in a season.

  • CB Chris Harris is one of just five defensive backs (and one of just two cornerbacks) in the NFL who have totaled at least 45 Tackles and three Interceptions this season.

  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie leads the NFL with 96 passes defensed since he entered the NFL in 2008.

  • DE Shaun Phillips leads the Broncos with nine sacks and has totaled at least seven sacks in eight of his 10 seasons.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES

  • K Matt Prater set the team’s single-season scoring record by a kicker with 133 points in 2012. He is 48-of-51 (.941) in his career in the 4th Quarter or Overtime, including 7-of-7 in 2013.

  • Prater owns the best Field Goal percentage from 50+ yards (.760 / 19-of-25) in NFL history among players who started their career after 1970.

  • P Britton Colquitt set the franchise net punting record for the second consecutive season in 2012.

  • WR Trindon Holliday ranks 1st since the 1970 NFL merger with a return score every 4.5 games played (min. 20 GP). He is just the 3rd player in franchise history to record a Touchdown on a kickoff return and a punt return in the same season (2012 & ‘13).

 

RODGERS HAS SPECIAL TEAMS FLOURISHING

Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Rodgers has led his unit to a Top 10 ranking in several categories since he was hired by Head John Fox prior to the 2011 season. After taking over a Special-Teams group that ranked 26th in the NFL by Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News in 2010, Rodgers led the unit to a No. 10 placing and a No. 11 finish, respectively in 2011 and ‘12.

 

BRONCOS SPECIAL-TEAMS RANKINGS, 2011-13

Statistic                                  No.           Rk.

Punt Return Average – 10.8………7th

Punt Return Touchdowns – 4…….T-1st

Kickoff Return Touchdowns – 2…T-2nd

Total Return Touchdowns – 6……T-1st

Touchbacks on Kickoffs – 168…….1st

Gross Punting Average – 46.7……5th

Net Punting Average – 40.9………4th

 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

  • Now in their sixth decade of professional football, the Broncos are one of just four teams to record three 90+ win decades since 1960 and the only organization to do so in each of the last three decades.

  • The Broncos have sold out every home game since the beginning of the 1970 season (339 reg. season / 17 postseason).

  • The Broncos own the NFL’s best overall home record (233-88 / .726) since 1975 and have posted a league-best five undefeated home schedules in the 16-game regular-season era (since 1978).

The Broncos are favored by 2.5 points with the Over/Under set at 54 points.

 

Go Broncos!

– Kaptain Kirk

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