2012 NFL Playoff Picks: Predicting the Patriots vs. Broncos Divisonal Playoff

Kevin JoyceContributor IJanuary 9, 2012

Tom Terrific vs. Tebow Time: Act II
Tom Terrific vs. Tebow Time: Act II

So Tebow Time came through against the Steelers, although it seemed for a few seconds there that the Broncos' luck had fizzled out, with a gimpy Ben Roethlisberger driving Pittsburgh down the field, nearly into field-goal range.

While the Broncos defense was impressive, it did give up 400 yards of offense to the Steelers, including 121 yards on the ground to backup running back Isaac Redman and 289 yards passing to Roethlisberger. When that secondary matches up against the historically explosive Patriots offense, expect Brady to play as well, if not better, than he did against the Broncos in Week 15, when he threw for over 320 yards and two touchdowns, laying a 40-burger on the Broncos D.

The Patriots beat the Broncos by 18 on the road at a loud Invesco Field, and now the Broncos must travel cross-country to a Gillette fan base that has been deprived of a home playoff victory for nearly four years. You can expect that they'll be hungry for a postseason W and their raucousness could disrupt the Broncos' pre-snap offense.

While Tebow made some spectacular throws, averaging a ridiculous 31.6 yards per completion, he did still complete less than 50 percent of his passes in the Wild Card matchup against the Steelers, something he'll need to improve upon if he hopes to keep up with a dangerously potent Patriots attack.

Should the Patriots get up early on the Broncos, expect them to keep the pedal to the floor and give the Broncos no chance to pull another miraculous Tebow Time victory.

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The Pats win this one, 35-17, and advance to the AFC Championship Game for the first time in what seems like forever for many New England fans.