DENVER -- In Week 12, the Broncos pressured Tom Brady on nearly half of his dropbacks, but that stat comes with an asterisk. No Edelman. No Amendola. James White not yet a factor. The Pats offense was stuck in neutral then, and for many weeks to follow.
That all changed Saturday in the Divisional Round playoff game versus the Chiefs.
Brady averaged an eye-opening 1.94 seconds from snap to release on his 42 passes. That can neutralize even the best of pass rushes, which is something the Broncos possess.
“You said two seconds? Sometimes I only need like one,” said Von Miller to a room that soon filled with laughter. “It’s quick. We have to be tight in the secondary. That little window that we get, we—me, [OLB] DeMarcus [Ware], [DE Derek] Wolfe and [DE] Malic [Jackson] – have to get there. [OLB] Shaq [Barrett], everybody, we just have to get there. This is one of those games where you can’t make excuses. We have to get our hands up, bat some balls down and we just have to get there, plain and simple.”
“It means that I have to get off the ball a little quicker,” said DeMarcus Ware, who didn’t play the first times these two teams met, “and I need to get to him in 1.8 seconds, to be honest with you.”
But Ware, who’s been around for a mighty long time, saw just how impotent the Chiefs pass rush was against the Pats with Brady getting it out that quickly.
“If he’s getting the ball off in 1.9 seconds, nobody is ever going to get to him,” he admitted. “You can see that from the Kansas City game, in which they had [Kansas City LB] Tamba Hali and they had [Kansas City LB Justin] Houston and they still couldn’t get there. You have to be able to have those corners to buy you just a little more time to get to him.”