Brady and Manning For the Last Time?

HRWager has seen most of the titanic battles that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have engaged in.  While Brady owns a healthy lead in the series, the playoff battle has been a lot more even.  Coach Kubiak relented and gave the reigns of Denver back to Manning for one final ride.  Now they get to host the game to determine which team from the AFC goes to the Super Bowl.  With a line of -3, can the favored Patriots win on the road to defend their title in Super Bowl 50?

Teams That Give New England Fits

AFC CHampionship Free Pick

In post season games where NE has lost, these three facets have usually been in play.

  1.  Field Position
  2. Time of Possession
  3. Turnovers

Good news is that the Denver rushing game can win the time of possession.  Patriots will rely on a quick passing attack but even with those odd errant passes, Denver can chew up clock if it does not get down early.  Now for the turnover battle.  NE is almost invincible if they win the turnover battle in the post season.  Now the Broncos -4 turnover margin is overblown because Manning’s early interceptions will not manifest themselves in this game.  This factor is much closer than it appears to many people.

Mentality of Bend Don’t Break

Why have the Broncos struggled with their elite defense?  In part because Denver gets the stops but it translates into punts deep in their territory.  They re 27th in the league in average starting position.  This equtes to them having to play that much better on offense than the normal team.  While their rushing attack will challenge this, the limited aspect of the vertical passing game will not stretch their defense to the breaking point.  This is the key to the entire game.

Lack of jailbreak ability is what separates the teams.  New England has play makers and Brady can stretch the field.  Denver has to plug the entire way.  The -3 is a safe investment for this one.  Go with the Patriots to return to the Super Bowl. Good fortune and we will see you next time here at the HRW.


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