Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots. Sunday, January 24, 1.00pm. Mile High Field.
Two of the NFL’s best teams go at it for a spot in Super Bowl 50 as the Denver Broncos take on the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship.
Two of the most polarizing quarterbacks in the game for the past 15 years will do battle where Patriots QB Tom Brady holds the heavy advantage. The 2014/2015 Super Bowl champion has won 11 times against Peyton Manning and he’ll be looking to extend that number on Sunday.
Manning has won five times against Brady, but fans and punters have noticed that the former MVP just doesn’t have the same arm strength as he used to. Tom Brady actually sent an email to Manning stating that Manning was in the ‘final chapter’ of their rivalry, and that’s sure to get under the skin of the Denver playmaker.
“It will be fun to play another Peyton Manning-led team,” Brady said.
“I’ve got another seven or eight years. He has two. That’s the final chapter.”
Denver get the advantage of playing at home in conditions that will suit. Their 6-2 home record shouldn’t be underestimated and the Patriots have lost three away games this season. That being said, bookmakers are siding with the Patriots which was to be expected.
There are plenty of pro’s and con’s for both teams in the AFC Championship game which we will discuss further, but for the meantime, sign up to Bovada.com for the best NFL odds this season.
Broncos vs. Patriots best odds
Broncos +140 (+3.0)
Patriots -166 (-3.0) at Bovada.com
We expected the Patriots to be the favoured team in this game due to their strong public support. They are a heavy public team and with all the negative press surrounding the strength of Peyton Manning’s arm, it will only sway punters towards New England.
Also swaying punters towards New England is the pure ability of Tom Brady. The star quarterback is able to throw to any receiver, regardless of how talented they are. With the likes of Gronkowski, Edelman and Amendola in the team, that makes the Patriots a tough proposition.
“His preparation, his rest and treatment and getting his body ready and his mind right. He does a lot of the things every day to prepare for the next day,” Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said.
“Even though these games have finality to them that some games in the regular season or preseason don’t have, he approaches it the same way.”
The Broncos have offensive weapons of their own. Manning was let down by poor dropped catches last week, but he won’t let that get him down.
“[No.] 18 is a little more amped up [for the playoffs],” C.J Anderson said of his quarterback.
“Making sure we’re more dialed in and detailed on this and that.”
Denver also boast the best defense in the league and that’s their biggest asset against the Patriots. Denver cornerback and ex-Patriot Aqid Talib spoke about his defense.
“Our confidence is perfect,” Talib said.
“We’re good. We’re playing a team who we beat earlier this year, we’re at home, we’re healthy. So, let’s get it.”
Broncos vs. Patriots key stats and tips
The Denver Broncos have won their past five from six games at home against the Patriots, which is a huge statistic for this game.
Even though Tom Brady has the dominant edge of Peyton Manning, the Broncos go well at home and playing with familiarity can work wonders in the NFL.
In terms of betting against the spread, both teams are middle of the road. The Broncos are 8-8-1 ATS this season and the Patriots are 8-7-2, so there is no advantage to either team for the points start option. If punters are expecting a close game, it’s best to go with Broncos +3.
The statistics of both quarterbacks couldn’t be anymore different and that’s where we think this game will be won and lost.
Peyton Manning: 2249 yards, nine touchdowns and 17 intercepts.
It’s rare to see Manning struggle so much in one season, but he’s clearly playing with injuries. He did throw well last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his receivers let him down big time. The arm strength might not be there, but the accuracy and game management will never leave Manning.
Tom Brady: 4770 yards, 36 touchdowns, seven intercepts.
The problem for Denver is that they have been going up in three’s, whereas the Patriots enjoy going up in sevens. Brady has thrown for an amazing 36 touchdowns which puts Manning’s record to shame. He’s the key player for the Patriots and even though he’s playing away from home, his stats never suffer.
Some stats are leading us towards the Denver Broncos, but we have an overwhelming feeling about the Patriots. Led by Tom Brady, the Patriots should have too much offense for the Broncos which have been struggling to score touchdowns this season.