WR Michael Jenkins - New England Patriots
|6-4, 217||Born: 6-18-1982||College: Ohio State||Drafted: Round 1, pick 29|
Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn, US Presswire
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Week 9: vs Denver Broncos
Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning - a renewal of a fiercely competitive NFL rivalry. EXCITING!
The Patriots look rejuvenated along with Rob Gronkowski (nine targets for 9/149/3 receiving vs. Chicago last week). Unlikely lead wide receiver Brandon LaFell has learned the joys of playing with Brady (11 targets for 11/124/1), and Tim Wright is becoming the #2 tight end that makes Brady happy (seven targets for 7/61/1 receiving last week). Brady missed out on just five completions out of 35 passes last week (30/35 for 354 yards passing, five TDs and zero interceptions) as he and his compatriots tuned up for this showdown with Manning and the Broncos. Brady has thrown for more than 350 yards in two of his last three games, and has 12 TD throws during that time span. The Patriots' passing attack is as hot as the Broncos' coming into this epic duel.
The Broncos' pass D ranks 17th in the NFL averaging 242.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 12 passing scores given out balanced by seven interceptions (tied for 13th in the NFL) and 23 sacks (tied for sixth) generated to date. The Patriots have allowed 15 sacks this season (tied-11th in the NFL) so far. Last week, Denver sacked Philip Rivers twice (for -7 yards) and intercepted him twice while allowing 30/41 for 245 net yards passing and three TDs; two weeks ago Colin Kaepernick was sacked six times for -53 yards on the way to 27/46 for 248 net yards, two TDs and one interception thrown by 49er quarterbacks (Blaine Gabbert played late in that 17-42 blowout win for Denver).
Brady is hot while the Broncos' pass D is merely mediocre - advantage, New England. Also, the Patriots' backs have a tough matchup against the top-ranked Denver defensive front, so look for Brady to throw early and often in this one.
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