An Interactive Sports Experience

2014 AFC Championship: Broncos vs Patriots

2014 AFC Championship: Broncos vs Patriots

Jan 17, 2014

Game Information: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots @ Mile High Stadium (DEN) on Sunday (Jan 19th, 2014) @ 3:00pm EST, TV: CBS.

Injury report (via ESPN, updated on Jan. 16th- click here for updated results):

Denver Broncos: Derek Wolfe (DE) and Chris Harris (CB) both will miss Sunday’s game.

New England Patriots: Kenbrell Thompkins (WR) Questionable with a concussion, Shane Vereen (RB) Questionable with a groin injury, Danny Amendola (WR) Questionable with a groin injury, almost everyone on the Patriots roster is “Questionable” click here for the full report.

Previous matchups: Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots 34-31 Patriots won- week 12.

Keys to the game:

Denver Broncos: Pressure Tom Brady and force him out of the pocket.

New England Patriots: Long drives to keep the Broncos offense off the field.

Game Analysis: If you love offense and tons of touchdowns; then you will you want to watch this Sunday’s game between the Broncos and Patriots. The last meeting between these two teams was a great battle combined with a great New England comeback. Denver stampeded to an early 24-0 lead after the first half and it looked like the Patriots were done for. Until one muffed punt later the tables started to turn and from there the Patriots would pull off one of the greatest comebacks of all time.

These teams are very similar as both have future hall of fame quarterbacks and very efficient offenses. The Patriots may not the great receivers like the Broncos, but it’s tough to stop them with Brady under center. Ever since these two quarterbacks first faced each other it has always been a question of who is better Manning or Brady? Some would say Manning is better during the regular season while Brady exceeds during the postseason. Either way you look at it, when these quarterbacks are in rhythm it’s almost impossible to stop them.

Both defenses will have their work cut out for them come Sunday. Neither of these teams are known for their defense, but the Broncos do have a much better defense than New England coming into this game. New England’s defense is in the bottom half of the NFL both against the run and the pass. Whereas the Broncos aren’t great against the pass but are sixth overall against the run. Last week the Patriots relied heavily on the run as Blount had four rushing touchdowns. Over the season the Patriots passed the ball about 60% of the time; but during their game against the Colts they ran the ball 63% percent of the time. This is important because you have to question which game plan will Belichick go with? Will he run more or pass more? They have roster built to do both but they would be better off throwing against the Broncos. Belichick’s game plan also may rely on who is healthy for the Patriots, as usual the Patriots are keeping their opponents guessing on who will be healthy for Sunday’s game. More than half of their roster is on the injury report as “questionable”. The key players to keep an eye are the Patriots wide receivers, mainly Kenbrell Thompkins and Danny Amendola. Amendola is the Patriots main go to guy but if he can’t go look for Edelman to get more targets, both are quick slot receivers who are to cover. If I were Belichick I look to throw as much as possible against this weak secondary of the Denver Broncos.

On the flip side the Broncos have so many great weapons, they will be impossible to stop on Sunday. With Welker, Decker, D.Thomas, and tight end Julian Thomas it almost doesn’t matter who is quarterback for the Broncos. It doesn’t hurt to have Peyton Manning under center on top of all those great weapons. The passing game is definitely the strength of the Broncos offense, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t run the ball against this soft defense. The Patriots defense is riddled with injuries that have made them horrific against the run this season. They allow an average of 130 rushing yards to their opponents and are thirtieth against the run overall. Look for the Broncos to use Knowshon Moreno often, as he had enormous success the last time these two teams faced each other. Moreno had over two hundred yards rushing with an average of 6.1 yards per a carry on thirty-seven attempts during that week 12 matchup.

Another important fact about that week twelve matchup is that Julian Thomas didn’t play in that game due to a concussion. He could be the difference maker as he has a huge impact on the Denver screen and passing game. Look for the Broncos to use the run game to set up the screen and play action opportunities and overpower the New England defense.

This game will come down to who has the ball last and which team can limit the scoring of their opponent. Every drive must result in a touchdown for the winning team as field goals just won’t do it. Redzone efficiency is a must as for both teams as they can score anytime and from anywhere on the field. As the clock hits zero, the Denver Broncos will ride away into the Meadowlands as the New England Patriots head back home.

Score Prediction: 49-42 Denver Broncos win.

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