Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
This is, arguably, the most interesting, tightly contested battle of the AFC Championship Game.
To some, the Broncos' receiving contingent of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas is the finest in the league.
Demaryius Thomas may not be the sharpest route-runner in the league, and he's not necessarily asked to run a diverse set of routes, but the former first-round pick is a yards-after-the-catch stud, and he can shield smaller defenders away from the football with his 6'3'', 230-pound frame.
Welker's the same chain-moving nuisance for opposing secondaries, and Decker, though not very consistent, had 87 receptions for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013.
The most frightening matchup might be tight end Julius Thomas, a 6'5'', 250-pound former basketball player with deceptive agility and the speed to run the seam and work wonders in the red zone.
With Devin McCourty, PFF's top-rated pass-coverage safety this season, five-interception rookie Logan Ryan, the ultra-aggressive Aqib Talib and heady veteran Steve Gregory, the Patriots actually match up relatively well with the Broncos.
Rookie strong-side linebacker, Jamie Collins, who intercepted an Andrew Luck pass down the seam in the divisional-round win, will factor into New England's pass-coverage plans as well.
In the end, though, Denver's quartet of Demaryius, Julius, Welker and Decker gives the Broncos the nod.