We’ve arrived at the AFC Championship game and couldn’t ask for a better matchup. The New England Patriots are visiting the Denver Broncos and both teams are playing for a shot at the Super Bowl. The Broncos finished the regular season 13-3 and the Patriots 12-4.
Much talk of this game has been centered around the Brady vs. Manning “match up” and rightfully so. Both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning find themselves in the discussion as the best quarterbacks of this era of professional football. Manning’s greatness this season comes as he spent most of the season smashing records while hollering ‘Omaha’. Brady on the other hand has had to watch every reliable piece of his offense fall by the wayside, only to be one win away from playing in the Super Bowl. This match up will be the 15th time that the 2 QB’s have squared off against each other. Tom Brady has won 10 out the 14 meetings.
The Denver Broncos have had a story book season thus far. Offensively, they lead the league in average points per game, passing yards per game, and total offense yards per game. When the Broncos met the Chargers in the divisional match up their offense was a little more balanced. Their run defense has carried them through while the secondary has exposed them. To make things worse for the secondary, they lost CB Chris Harris to a torn ACL injury during their match up against the Chargers. Quentin Jammer got into the game to replace him and was immediately targeted. The Broncos staff has to expect that the Patriots will come after him.
New England Patriots
What are the Patriots doing in the AFC Championship game? They lost Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski all keys to the white hot Patriots offense that we’ve all known. New England has had to make adjustment after adjustment to make it this far in the season. By far the most impressive surprise would be the power run game that has developed with LeGarette Blount. The run game has definitely emerged as a distraction to the sub par receiving core of the Patriots. Defensively they aren’t loaded per say, but are coached extremely well. New England has done just enough each game to find themselves in this championship. They will have their hands full with the Broncos multidimensional offense attack.
Prediction: Although both teams have 2 future hall of fame QBs, their arms may not be the key to Sunday’s victory. Expect Knowshon Moreno of the Broncos and LaGarette Blount of the Patriots to be called on early and often. However, don’t expect the Broncos to blow a 24-0 lead again if they are afforded one. Denver has too much going for them offensively to let this slip.
27-24 Broncos Win