With the 2015-16 NFL Playoff season underway and having finished with the Wild Card Rounds and the Divisional Rounds, we now come to the individual Conference Championship games with 2 games on Sunday the 24th of January 2015, with the first game being the AFC Title game with the 13-4 New England Patriots playing the 13-4 Denver Broncos with the game being played at the Sports Authority Field in Mile High Denver, Colorado with the kick-off scheduled for 3:05 PM ET and seen on CBS TV.
The opening Vegas odds for those that Bet on NFL football has the New England Patriots the favorites at -3 -120 with the Over/under at 44 and -165 on the Money Line, while the Denver Broncos are the listed underdogs at +3 EV and +145 on the ML. This should be a great game as the Patriots are coming off a win over the streaking Chiefs of KC and the Broncos winning a difficult game over the Steelers of Pittsburgh and both teams bring us an excellent and talented QB combination.
For the fans of the New England Patriots your team demonstrated their comeback ability after they lost 4 of their ultimate games in ending the regular season, and then beating the streaking Chiefs of KC 27-20 on this past Saturday 2016. They returned 2 players from injuries who assisted QB Brady in that win in WR J. Edelman and TE R. Gronkowski. WR Edelman was the main target and had 100 yards in receptions, while TD Gronkowski made to important TD receptions. Thus, the Patriots come back to the AFC Title game for the 5th consecutive season.
Since the running game for the Patriots couldn’t get started as they rushed for 39 yards on 15 carries, as their star RB’s D. Lewis and L Blount were out with injuries. Therefore, QB Brady and the Broncos went to their passing game and he passed for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns without being sacked in that game.
If the Patriots are to leave Mile High on the way to Super Bowl 50 they will need to step up their running game since the Broncos rank 1st for total defense and passing defense and the for rushing defense they rank 3rd.
If as the Broncos have the best league defense, the Pats QB Brady still has plenty of confidence in his team and teammates. In their Week 12 game with Denver at Mile High they lost the game in OT 30-24, but he still passed for 3 touchdowns and some 282 yards passing in the game, and that was without his star and favorite target WR Edelman out with an injury for that game.
Yes, your team has an explosive offense, but their defense needs to become explosive also in this game as they will be facing the Broncos QB P. Manning whose not the same player that has thrown 55 TD passes in 1 season, but he still an excellent QB with tons of experience.
The defense for the Pats has had 49 sacks during the 2015-16 regular season and their leading sackers is C. Jones, accompanied by J. Sheard with 8 sacks, R. Ninkovich with 6 sacks and J. Collins with 5 sacks and they all pitched in defensively to date, and Jones has the 1st Patriots sack in postseason against the Chiefs of KC.
For the fans of the Denver Broncos, yes your QB Manning has had better time, but he’s your QB for this playoff game, and we think a good one, as in the last game in the Divisional Round with Pittsburgh he did what was requested of him in the Broncos 23-16 win this past Sunday throwing for 222 yards and created a lot of big and important plays in the game, like his 31 yard pass to WR Fowler as they were on 3rd down and 12 for a 1st in the 4th and last quarter. That reception set up a touchdown to take the Broncos to the lead in the game as at that point they were trailing 13-12.
In this upcoming game their WR’s in E. Sanders and D. Thomas will be awaiting to get open for passes from QB P. Manning, since Sanders against the Steelers had 85 yards on 5 receptions and in the 1st game in Week 12 against the Patriots he had 113 yards on receptions.
For a victory in this game the Broncos need a great game from their RB’s and from their defensive unit. In their last game against the Patriots RB Anderson had a 51 yard running in OT for the win, and for the game he had 15 carries for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the last game with the Steelers he also had 15 carries for 74 yards and scored a 2 point conversion on a carry.
Therefore a good running game will keep the clock ticking and the defensive coach W. Phillips can assure his team the ball for the majority of the game time, since his defense ranks 1st in yards per game and passing defense and in rushing defense 3rd.
The Broncos actually have a package that could defeat the Patriots who are pass orientated, since their defensive front in D. Ware, A. Smith, S. Williams, D. Wolfe, and M. Johnson have a pass defense and rush that could upset Patriots QB Brady, since they have the most QB sacks in the league this season with some 52, plus they have a strong secondary led by A. Talib who can shutout Patriots WR Edelman with man to man coverage in this game. That plus home field advantage, and the fact that since back in 1984 the Broncos at home against the Patriots are with 14 wins and 3 losses straight up!
The online sportsbook prediction for this AFC Title game will see the Denver Broncos upset the favorite New England Patriots and move on to the next round of the playoffs, the Super Bowl 50 in February!