BETTER VS. BRADY: The Broncos are better prepared to face Brady’s offense than last year, when it rolled to a 31-7 lead before winning by 10 points. Afterward, the Broncos benched middle linebacker Joe Mays and they’ve won 20 of 22 since, including playoffs. Now, Wesley Woodyard handles that position.
“Wood’s able to do a lot better at being the quarterback of the defense for us,” cornerback Chris Harris said. “When they do get us on the run in the no-huddle, Wood is able to just call out a play on defense for us and that’s something that’s big ... when we play the Patriots.”
HEALTHY OFFENSE: The Patriots’ offense is the healthiest it’s been all season with Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen all back. Gronkowski has 24 catches in four games after missing the first six. Amendola has 13 in three games after missing four of the first seven. Vereen had eight catches against Carolina after missing eight games.
“It’s exciting to get everybody back on the field at the same time,” Vereen said. “I think we’ll be able to put a better product on the field.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org