AFC Championship: New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Location: Sports Authority Field
Time: 3:00 p.m.
TV/Radio: CBS/98.5 The Sports Hub
Live Stream: Watch Here
Keys to Victory: establish the run to open up the pass, exploit Denver’s banged up secondary, pressure Peyton Manning to force turnovers
Game time conditions look to be as perfect as you’ll see this time of year. Clear skies, light wind, and mild temperatures that could hit 60 degrees are forecasted.
Tony Corrente will be in charge of the refereeing duties while Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will call the game for CBS.
So once again Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will link up and renew their historic rivalry. Their legacies are said to be at stake, though this AFC Championship showdown is as equally about the players surrounding them as it is about their individual duel.
Both clubs are familiar with one another after having battled earlier this season. Let’s set the storied, hall-of-fame careers of each side’s signal-callers aside, because it will the defenses that will play a large role in determining the outcome of this game.
Something will have to give, as Brady and Manning tend to be perfectionists. Whichever defense can slow the opposing offensive attack while forcing a turnover or two will come away with the best opportunity to win.
It’s quite simple really. Denver will look to slow the Patriots rushing attack so Brady can’t uncork his lethal play-action game. New England will look to utilize its talented secondary in limiting the Broncos multitude of weapons.
When in possession of the football look for the Patriots to string together long drives comprised of many rushing plays in an effort to keep Manning sidelined for as long as possible. Denver will look to rack up the points as they feel New England is not equipped to win a track meet style game.
New England boasts a stronger secondary and a more physical offense. If Bill Belichick’s club can exploit these mismatches, then I like the Patriots to win. Denver’s secondary is nicked up. I expect Brady to pick them up a part when going to the air.
My Prediction: Patriots 31, Broncos 28
If the Pats win, make sure to grab your Super Bowl tickets as quick as you can before they aren’t available!