Wendell: Denver D-line will challenge run game

Wendell: Denver D-line will challenge run game
January 13, 2014, 4:00 pm
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FOXBORO -- Well, the Patriots aren’t going to sneak up on anyone with their ground attack anymore.
 
And the Broncos -- given their performance Sunday against the Chargers -- will be waiting for them.
 
Denver allowed just one rushing first down in its 24-17 Divisional Playoff win. They allowed 65 yards rushing on 18 carries.
 
Patriots center Ryan Wendell gave a quick scouting report Monday saying, “Terrence Knighton (nose tackle), he’s been doing it all year, he’s been in there doing a good job. Sylvester Williams (defensive tackle) has been playing more since Kevin Vickerson went down. Malik Jackson (LDE) has been really filling the void in there after Derek Wolfe stopped playing a couple weeks back and (Jeremy) Mincey (LDE) came in and started playing right away doing a good job. Shaun Phillips (RDE) has been doing the same thing he’s been doing his whole career.”
 
The Broncos sacked Rivers four times on Sunday, much of the pressure coming without their sending extra defensive personnel.
 
“They did a great job condensing the pocket, getting to Philip Rivers, making it tough on him,” said Wendell. “The sacks showed up and they couldn’t run the ball and there’s a reason for that: That defensive line is stout. It’s gonna be a big challenge.”
 
Asked how different the Broncos seem now compared to Week 12, Wendell pointed out, “Those guys play hard every week. There have been some differences with some players coming in, some players going out. Their defense, from (defensive coordinator) Jack Del Rio all the way down has done a good job of playing to the strengths on the field.”