Denver Broncos v New England Patriots
Two old foes and future Hall of Fame quarter backs meet in the AFC decider in Denver tomorrow, it’s Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady. Brady dominates this match up, 10-4, 2-1 in the post season, with their last meeting in the playoffs being the one that lead to Manning’s sole Super Bowl win.
This game will see a lot of focus on the quarter backs, but both teams have played the run game well this season. In the Patriots win last week over the Indianapolis Colts they ran for 6 touchdowns with Brady not throwing for a single touchdown. LeGarrette Blount ran for 166 yards in a rushing Patriots performance. This season may well be one of Brady’s best, he has success without the best weapons at his disposal. Gronkowski returned only to get injured again but Brady has always found a way this season, none more so than when these two sides met in Week 12 with Denver taking a 24-0 lead only for Brady to lead his Patriots to a 34-31 over time win. That summed up Brady’s stubbornness and refusal to accept defeat, something that will serve the Patriots well in this AFC decider.
Peyton Manning has had a record breaking season, throwing for 56 touchdowns, with the Broncos scoring a record 606 points. Where Brady lacks offensive weapons in the pass game, Manning is spoiled for choice in the pass game with Wes Welker, Eric Decker and Demaryius and Julius Thomas as well as the rush option in Knowshon Moreno. The Broncos defence held San Diego well in the last round but there may be concerns that when Philip Rivers loosened up in the pass game he made some inroads.
The pressure is on Manning to deliver another Super Bowl. His critics have questioned his post season record and performance. This game is hard to call but the offensive weapons that Manning has, as well as being a weapon himself, give them the edge over the Patriots and may just see him play for the Super Bowl in New York.
Verdict: Denver Broncos