AFC Playoffs Divisional Preview: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots

Fantasy GuidelineContributor IIIJanuary 13, 2012

The Patriots passing attack must be at its best on Saturday.

Game Time: Saturday at 7:30 EST

Weather: High of 34 with slight chance of precipitation

Spread: New England -14

Brandon Berg

After last week’s atrocious predictions (assumptions, rather), the Broncos pulled through in the clutch and took what was theirs… a trip to New England to face the Patriots in the divisional playoff round. They earned it, that’s for sure. One would have to be insane to pick against the Broncos this week, right? Well, the NFL works in mysterious ways and each time I think I’ve figured it out, we get a corkscrew that I’ve never seen before. Honestly, Tebow throwing for over 300 yards against the league’s supposed top defense? Get real.

However, something tells me that Tebow is going to struggle against one of the weakest defenses in the league, much like what happened a few weeks ago when they played. We do have to remember, though, that the Broncos were leading that game at halftime and until Willis McGahee got hurt. I still have to go against my better judgement and ignorantly pick the Patriots. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m wearing my John Elway jersey on Sunday.

Patriots – 28, Broncos – 24

Caleb Parkinson

New England’s defense is referred to as a ‘defense’ just because we don’t really know what else to call what it is that they do when other team’s offenses have the ball. Denver’s defense is one of the best in the AFC, but does this Tebow train really keep on rolling like this even after the Patriots got Josh McDaniels back? To be honest, I have my doubts. Facing a top-flight defense in the playoffs is not anything new to Tom Brady and their defense really just needs to play tight and stop the run, as well as all the short crossing routes that Tebow often uses to get into a rhythm.

If they can force Tebow to have to throw deep balls accurately and often, I think the Pats still have an excellent chance to win one in front of their home crowd. Their offense will come out firing out of the gate to capture and early lead that I think they can keep. They know they can’t allow this thing to remain close in the final 3-4 minutes. I would love to be wrong about this one.

Patriots – 41, Broncos – 29

Derrick Miller

Wow. Go Tim Tebow. What a win for the Denver Broncos against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I can honestly say I didn’t see that one coming. Coach John Fox will have this team prepared on Sunday. Denver’s defense will step up like usual, it will depend simply on how Tebow does with his offense.

And now on to the Patriots. Does Tom Brady have one more in him? I don’t believe so. They have dominated the last two regular seasons, but came up short in the playoffs both times. If it weren’t for Brady and his comebacks, this team would not be where they are at now.  However, you can never count out Brady. He just simply finds a way to get it done. He has so many weapons around him. That includes Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

This is a tough one to call. Everything in me says to go with the Patriots, but I still can’t bring myself to it. I did say they would most likely to disappoint. Denver’s defense contains Brady, McGahee stays healthy the whole game, and Tebow Mania continues.

Broncos – 26, Patriots – 24