Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Where: Sports Authority Field, Denver, Colo.
Time: 3 p.m. EST
Spread (earliest): Broncos, 6.5-point favorites
Weather: High of 56, low of 30
Previous 2013 matchup: Week 12—Patriots 34, Broncos 31
Noteworthy news and statistics: Per Football Outsiders, the Broncos offense was second in yards per drive and first in points per drive during the regular season. Their defense was 15th in yards allowed per drive and 19th in points allowed per drive.
The Patriots offense was seventh in yards per drive and sixth in points per drive. Their defense was 19th in yards allowed per drive and 10th allowed in points per drive.
New England finished the regular season with a plus-three turnover differential. Denver's was even.
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris suffered a torn ACL in the divisional round win over the San Diego Chargers, per Lindsay Jones of USA Today. He's done for the remainder of the playoffs.
According to Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe, the Patriots are at peace with their underdog status, following their QB's lead.
Tom Brady commented, "We’ve got a bunch of underdogs on our team, and we’ll be an underdog again. We’ll see how that shapes up here at the end of the week. But I know that we’re as tough and physical as we’ve ever been, and that’s the way we’re going to need to go out and play this game."
Running back LeGarrette Blount then said, "If Tom is going to embrace it, I’m going to embrace it. That’s the leader of this team. So if that’s how he feels, I’m sure that’s how most of the guys here feel."