Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos meet on Saturday night in Foxboro to decide who will punch their ticket to play in the AFC Championship game. The Patriots are -13.5 point favorites over the Broncos with an over/under point total set at 49.5.
The New England Patriots have been a team on a mission and that mission is to get back to and with the Super Bowl. After a disappointing loss to the Giants a few years back and some playoff missteps the Pats are back in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy and they have home field advantage in the AFC for as long as they remain in it. Tom Brady has had another monster year in his Hall of Fame career completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 5,235 yards with 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. It has been running back by committee and BeJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead carried the load the bulk of the season it has been Stevan Ridley getting it done of late averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Wes Welker had 122 catches and nine touchdowns while Rob Gronkowski had 90 catches and 17 touchdowns and was nearly impossible to stop. The New England defense was second to last in the NFL allowing 411.1 yards and 21.4 points per game but they were plus 17 in turnovers with 23 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries and that made all the difference. Kyle Arrington had seven interceptions and 88 tackles, Jerrod Mayo had 95 tackles, and Andre Carter came on with 10 sacks. It isn’t a typical Bill Belichick team in the way they get it done but they are typical in the respect that they do get it done.
The Denver Broncos have surprised a lot of people all season long and they once again surprised many as they knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. John Fox’s Broncos have gone from a top five drafting team to two wins from the Super Bowl and it has truly been a magical ride. Tim Tebow has been the story for Denver and his performance in the opening round of the playoffs were typical of what we have seen from him all year as he completed 47.6 percent of his passes with two touchdowns but one of his 10 total completions was taken to the house in overtime for the win. Willis Mcgahee was stoned for much of the game against the Steers gaining just 61 yards though Tebow ran one in. Demaryius Thomas had a breakout game catching four passes for 204 yards and a touchdown, the game winner in overtime while Eddie Royal had three catches and a touchdown. It was a team effort on defense for Denver but they did allow some big runs and 400 yards of offense, most of it in the second half when their lead evaporated. David Burton had eight tackles, Joe Mays had six tackles, and Robert Ayers had two of Denver’s five sacks. The Broncos were obliterated at home by the Patriots just a few weeks back and it will take a monster effort and some breaks to flip flop those results.
New England is 11-5 against the spread against the AFC, 0-6 against the spread in their last six playoff games, and 3-14 against the spread as a favorite of 10.5 points or more. Denver is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as an underdog, 5-1 against the spread in their last six road games, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five games overall. Denver has covered in five of their last six trips to New England.
The total in this one is set at 51 and it’s been dropping and it may continue to fall but I see this one going over as both teams will be moving the ball so the over will be my pick.