On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM MDT Orange Night Ride

    The year's Orange Ride is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014 with a start time of 4:30 p.m. from the Denver City and County Building. We have put together a list of activities leading up to that night's Broncos game against San Diego. We hope to see you there!
    3-4 p.m. Pregame fan rally in front of Denver City and County Building
    4:30 p.m. Ride departs Denver City and County Building to Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5:00 p.m. Ride arrives at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5-6 p.m. Orange Ride pregame tailgate party at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    6:00 p.m. Orange Ride departs stadium to Tavern Downtown to watch the Broncos game
    6:25 p.m. Watch the Broncos game while enjoying Tavern Downtown’s food and drink specials
    And don't forget that the Broncos and Denver B-cycle have teamed up to offer a new bike valet service for home games for the 2014 season, giving fans a place to park their bike in a secure place staffed by B-cycle volunteers!
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 6:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers The Denver Broncos take on AFC West opponent the San Diego Chargers on Thursady Night Football on NFL Network.
  • Sat., Oct. 25, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM MDT Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Sign up at http://broncosbunch.com

  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos at New England Patriots The Denver Broncos travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Championship. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 09, 2014 2:05 PM MST Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders The Denver Broncos face their AFC West foe Oakland Raiders on the road. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 16, 2014 11:00 AM MST Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams The Denver Broncos face the St. Louis Rams on the road at 11 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 23, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins The Denver Broncos take on the AFC East Miami Dolphins. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Tue., Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM MST Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution Denver Rescue Mission Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 6:30 PM MST Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face AFC West foe the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
  • Sun., Dec. 07, 2014 2:05 PM MST Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 Tribute Game Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 tribute game. Teams will be recognized before the team's game against the Buffalo Bills.

News & Blogs

Print
RSS

Five to Watch: 3. Edelman and Amendola

Posted Jan 17, 2014

Independent analyst Andrew Mason continues his look at key Patriots to watch in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week, independent analyst Andrew Mason will take a closer look at five players to watch in this Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Third on the list: Patriots receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Because Danny Amendola signed with the Patriots within hours of Wes Welker's departure in free agency last year, the two were always going to be connected, even beyond their slot-receiver skills and shared alma mater, Texas Tech.

But injuries kept him from finding a groove last year, and in the end, it was Welker's understudy in New England, Julian Edelman, that ended up picking up most of the slack in the wake of Welker's departure. 

Now that Amendola is healthy, you can't mention one without the other. With Rob Gronkowski out for the season after suffering a knee injury, the Patriots needed both, with one taking Gronkowski's role -- that often necessitated lining up in one slot.

So you will sometimes see them both in the slot. One of the key plays in their frantic comeback win over Cleveland saw each receiver line up in the slots to each side of Brady. This kind of formation can force safety confusion; each has the speed to get upfield if the need arises.

Although neither has Gronkowski's size, their speed and quick cuts provide another dimension. Covering either with a linebacker can be a futile task, and Tom Brady's ability to fire the football into narrow windows means that even tight coverage might not do much good.

The two are also lethal when they're flanked to one side. New England used this formation early last week in an attempt to force the Colts' cornerbacks to collide. It was unsuccessful, and the Colts' man coverage maintained its integrity, but Amendola still managed to cut in front of the cornerback and ran a post toward the goal line, catching a 16-yard pass just behind a safety. The play was properly defended, but still moved the chains on third-and-3 anyway.

But Amendola and Edelman are more than just move-the-sticks specialists. Combined, they averaged 10.62 yards per reception on 159 catches: 105 for Edelman and 54 for Amendola. 

But with the emergence of LeGarrette Blount, they can take advantage of play-action and pick up yardage in larger chunks.

Amendola had a 53-yard reception last week, running a post route and taking advantage of the safety and cornerback biting on the fake. By the time Amendola caught the football, he had three yards of separation and was 39 yards downfield, adding another 14 after the catch. 

"He’s showed me really what he’s all about," said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. "He’s fought through a lot of adversity earlier in the year and is really playing his best football. He’s done a great job. He’s been in and out of different roles in the whole offense and different positions, different formations. He’s had to learn a lot of different spots. He’s willing to do whatever it takes. He’s doing great and I love being out there with him."

On the 53-yard connection, Edelman was available as a short option, running a crossing route just past the line of scrimmage. But the two are interchangeable, and it could be Edelman who gets the deep shot Sunday.

Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.