Last year, the Broncos and Patriots played twice, and neither game was close: New England won 41-23 in the regular season and 45-10 in the playoffs. This year, the Broncos are preparing to play the Patriots on Sunday, and they think things will be different.
In fact, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey says the Broncos don’t just think they can win: Bailey said the Broncos “know we can win.”
But that wasn’t always the case. According to Bailey, last year he didn’t believe all of his teammates were confident heading into their two losses against the Patriots.
“I didn’t feel like there were 53 guys that thought we could win,” Bailey said. “And it showed.”
So what’s different this time? Bailey suggested that replacing last year’s defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen, with Jack Del Rio was a step in the right direction. And although he didn’t mention them by name, he clearly believes that quarterback Peyton Manning gives the Broncos a better chance of beating the Patriots than Tim Tebow did.
“Couple of different players here and there. Different coordinator. Different mentality,” Bailey said. “But I think last year, it was pretty obvious we didn’t put our best effort in that last game. It was real disappointing to get that far and not put forth 100 percent. But it is what it is, it’s in the past, and this is a different year, different breed of guys going in there.”
If Bailey is right, and if the Broncos do beat the Patriots, that would be a strong sign that the Broncos really are a better team this year.