After a shaky start that produced a nine-point deficit, the New England Patriots' defense adjusted on the fly in Week 15 en route to shutting down Tim Tebow, limiting the Denver Broncos to seven points the rest of the way and escaping Sports Authority Field at Mile High with a resounding 41-23 victory.
The Patriots will face the Broncos again in Saturday night's divisional playoff game, and New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork told the Boston Herald that people can expect to see a similar defensive strategy: one that de-emphasizes an upfield pass rush.
"We all have jobs that we have to take care of," Wilfork said Friday. "We can't be out of rush lanes, we can't be thrown off blocks, we have to play with good technique, trust our technique, trust one another, just trust that the guy next to you is doing his job. Do that, and we'll be OK."
Against a dual-threat quarterback like Tebow, who thrives when the play breaks down, Wilfork said discipline among the defensive linemen will be key. It worked for New England last time as Tebow was sacked four times and fumbled twice.
"It's going to be a very disciplined game for us," Wilfork said. "We might not be happy that we're not rushing the passer and stuff like that, but this is one of those games where you have to make sure you take care, you can't guess at anything, you can't take a chance at anything because it may cost you. Especially against a team like this, it's going to cost you. I think guys understand that."