New England went to Denver, which is usually a house of horrors. Tom Brady, has never played well there and the teams usually doesn’t either. But yesterday, they slayed the dragon.
And the 16-3 win might have done more than clinch the Patriots’ NFL record seventh straight playoff bye — an incredible stat. It could’ve just buried Denver’s postseason chances.
And the Broncos knew it.
Because postgame locker rooms, at least those of the defending Super Bowl champs don’t usually feature screaming matches, with the defense going after the offense. But this one did. And you can file it under “least surprising ever.” Because none other than Aqib Talib was in the middle of it all.
According to a report from the NFL Network’s Mike Silver, head coach Gary Kubiak gathered his players postgame and asked if anyone wanted to address the team. Left tackle Russell Okung — who joined the team as a free agent this offseason — stepped forward, and that’s when Talib set off a quote, “spirited shouting match” that an unnamed Broncos played described as “pretty much your classic offense vs. Defense divide.”
Let’s just be glad it was just a shouting match. Because Aqib Talib doesn’t suffer fools. Not on the field. Not from his punt returner not at the strip club. And especially not from his offense. Or whatever it is they’re running that they call an offense.
Of course, Talib is pissed. It was all right there for them. They already knew the Chiefs had lost. The Broncos were number one against the pass coming in. Tom Brady always struggles there. It was freezing. They were in their own house. And Brady started the game 0-6. If you’re the Broncos, you couldn’t have asked for anymore.
Again. Early on. In fact, Brady wasn’t the guy to pick them apart yesterday. Talib was pissed because he and the defense did their job. They held Tom Brady below 200 yards passing and no touchdowns. The Broncos D played well enough to win. The dee wasn’t the unit that turned it over. The dee wasn’t the group that melted down on special teams. Talib’s teammates were. And he was pissed.
Let me tell you something. This is not surprising. In fact, this is exactly what I said was going to happen when I appeared on the NFL on CBS. I said Brady never plays well there. That it’s been a nightmare for him there. But that it wouldn’t matter because LeGarrette Blount has been grinding out yardage. I also said before the game that I thought the Broncos were in trouble and that they absolutely were in danger of making the playoffs. And then enraged Bronco fan was coming for me. I get it. You love your team. I get it. And I love being right.
It didn’t take a genius to figure one out. They were in trouble and they are in danger of missing the playoffs. Sorry Bronco fan. No apology necessary. We’re all good. Well, I’m all good. You’re not. Aqib Talib’s not. And your team’s not. Because you just can’t make those types of mistakes in the biggest game of the year. You can’t muff punts…turn it over deep in the other guy’s territory when you’re driving and drop as many passes as your receivers did. You’re not technically dead. But you are on life support and it’s just a matter of whether or not some comes in and rip the cord out of the wall.