I think we learned that what everyone says is right and despite the fact that Bill Belichick has no Superbowl wins to his name after getting busted for cheating, he still is an excellent coach.
Tebow looked about the same although did not have his brilliant finish. If you watched the game, you’d be surprised that he did end up completing 50% of his passes for nearly 200 yards and rushed for another 100 yards and two touchdowns. Most of what I saw were passes coming up short or sailing over the head of receivers as he tends to do until the last 9 minutes of the game.
We learned that the Broncos have a very good defense that put lots of pressure on Brady, but eventually wilted in the face of the continual pressure to stop that offense.
The Broncos need a healthy McGahee to win. They held their own when he was in the game and healthy. He limped off and the offense lost a significant step.
We learned that field goals never, ever, ever will beat this Patriots team. The Chargers are very familiar with that fact.
We learned that despite the current “Gronk” love fest going on, there’s another stellar tight end in New England by the name of Aaron Hernandez. Yeah, they have two who may both end up in the Pro Bowl.
Overall, the Patriots have amazing receivers. How many bullet passes did Brady’s receivers (including tight ends) perfectly snatch out of the air? There were several passes where I expected incompletions that resulted in first downs because of great hands. Tebow would benefit from a few more quality receiving threats.
The Patriots learned from previous games it seems and decided to keep it simple versus Tebow early and then throw the playbook at him in the second half so he didn’t have time to adjust. We may see more teams going that way in coming weeks. Don’t show your defensive wrinkles until the second half and limit Tebow’s ability to adjust.
We learned a lot and very little at the same time. For me, the biggest thing I took away from the game was the importance of a great leader and how One man believing they can overcome all odds doesn’t trump 53 men believing they can overcome all odds. Tebow can have all the faith in the world in his ability and his team’s ability to win, but it doesn’t compare to Belichick instilling that belief into his entire team.
The Patriots believe that they will win. Every single player on that team seems committed to victory and it was obvious that they relished the task of ending the Broncos recent run. Did their complete trust in their coach, their team, their quarterback, and their system come from winning or do they win because of that trust? It’s irrelevant now because they have it. They do the little things on every play that helps them win.
I saw the Patriots fight for extra yards on every play and yet never risk losing the football. They commit to winning. Belichick seems to collect only the players that are going to buy into his plan and work toward the team goal in a kind of solidarity that you just don’t see anywhere else around the league. I personally don’t like the Patriots, but you have to respect the team that he’s assembled and coaches every Sunday.
Perhaps Coach John Fox will mold these Broncos into that kind of winning program. It certainly can’t hurt having Tebow on the roster since he already has that perfect determination within him, but there are some definite gaps in that philosophy on this Denver team. That stout defense eventually lost heart it appeared and just couldn’t come up with the stops when they needed them.
The turnovers. The Broncos made mistakes when the pressure was on and gave the Patriots offense and Brady extra chances to score. Never a good thing.
And Tebow is young. He still has a lot to learn. If you’re a believer (in Tebow that is), the game didn’t change your belief. You still see the escapability, the scramble with his eyes always downfield (a skill Vick didn’t develop until he got to Philly), and the relentless desire to make the play work (kind of hurt him on that last drive). If you’re a Tebow critic, I’m sure the game made you believe he still can’t play in this league since you probably ignore his 193 yards passing and two rushing touchdowns.
Tebow is young. He needs more work and a lot more polish to his game. He is, however, playing his team out of any draft position for a quarterback next season that could challenge him so John Elway and John Fox should get ready for an offseason of teaching Tebow everything he can possibly learn about being a quarterback in the NFL. He has the head. He has the athletic ability. He has the desire. He’s proven he’s teachable. Can they teach him?