Peyton Manning may have looked over New England’s defense and realized that unless the Broncos beat themselves with fumbles, stumbles and tumbles, the highest-scoring team in NFL history should put up plenty of points on the Patriots.
If you’re going to be alarmed by any statistic, it’s Peyton Manning’s microscopic comebacks in the playoffs.
Manning and Brady will meet Sunday for the 15th time, and the fourth time in the postseason, when the Broncos (14-3) face the Patriots (13-4) in the AFC title game.
250-pound LeGarrette Blount struggled the last time he faced the Broncos, a game the Patriots won 34-31 in overtime Nov. 24. He carried the ball three times and lost it twice.
No matter who has the edge Sunday, it seems the nation is rooting for Manning, because it’s been harder for him to win, because he’s not so pretty, because he’s considered one of us, because you get the sense that his aw-shucks, southern refrain is real.
In anticipation of the AFC and NFC Championship games this weekend, we’ve pulled together America’s leading sportscasters to make their predictions and picks for Patriots-Broncos and 49ers-Seahawks.
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are clearly football royalty. On the other side, you see two sleek athletes who represent the NFL’s future. Colin Kaepernick has already been to one Super Bowl, while Russell Wilson is trying to get to his first.
Brady played the underdog card on Monday but hasn’t harped on it, at least not publicly. “When you play against one of the best teams in the league, you realize there’s very little margin of error,” he said.
The good news: either Manning or Brady will get to go to another Super Bowl. The bad news: one of them will not, and be denied adding more to his legacy yet again.
Four days before the AFC championship game against the Denver Broncos, the star quarterback missed practice Wednesday because of illness and his right shoulder, the Patriots said in their practice report.
Brady and Belichick will join the battle, but they don’t have enough weapons to overcome this problem. The AFC Championship looks like the end of the line for New England.
For those that want to attend the AFC Championship Game, making sure to purchase legitimate tickets is a big deal. Counterfeits are more popular all the time, especially as the playoffs arrive.
“I know when we played Baltimore nobody picked us to win,” Brady said. “I’m sure no one’s going to pick us to win this week. We’ve had our backs against the wall for a while.”
Both Patriots Nation and Broncos Country are looking forward to Brady/Manning XV. The rest of the planet will probably enjoy the game, too.
So, after a ho-hum divisional playoff weekend, we wind up getting the matchups that everyone wanted anyway. Especially this one: Brady vs. Peyton.