Home >> Denver Broncos Tackle the New England Patriots for 2014 AFC Championship

Category: AFC

Denver Broncos Tackle the New England Patriots for 2014 AFC Championship

The Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots in the National Football Conference’s Championship game this coming Sunday, January 19 at Sports Authority Field in Denver. Kickoff is 3pm ET, with the game being shown on CBS Sports Network.

The winner of the AFC Championship game will meet the winner of the NFC Championship game between the number one seeded Seattle Seahawks and the number five seeded San Francisco 49ers. The two winners will play Sunday, Feb 2nd in the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, New York. It will also mark the very first ‘cold’ weather game to played outdoors in Super Bowl history.

Bookmakers have pegged the Broncos as the better team, with the Denver sitting as a 5-point favorite, while most expect the game to be a more high scoring affair as the Total for this AFC Championship is set at 51.

Both teams have superstar quarterbacks, with the Broncos led by Peyton Manning while the Patriots will have Tom Brady behind center. Both QBs have won Super Bowls, Brady with three and Manning the one, so each have been through the wars and nothing is expected to catch them by surprise. Even the weather is looking cooperate, as temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s with very little wind.

Besides both teams being led by all-World quarterbacks, there are other similarities between the two teams. Both have potent, high scoring offences, each finishing in the top 5 for both yards and scoring. The Pats are on a real surge offensively at the moment, having scored an average of almost 40-points per game over their last four games. The Broncos set an NFL record this year for most points scored (606), and Manning set a new NFL mark for touchdown passes with 55. Even while missing his top three receivers from last year, Brady has still been able to keep the Patriots at the top of their offensive game, but this year they have done it with a more balanced attack, featuring the bludgeoning running of LaGarrett Blount, which has helped to set up the playaction pass for Brady.

Both defences, meanwhile, have struggled at times, both finished at the bottom on the league. Denver at 19th overall while the Patriots’ young defence ended up at 26th, but have been improving a lot of late.

This will also be the 15th time that Brady and Manning have met, with Brady having won nine of those contests.

Denver, the number one seed in the AFC, has made it to the championship game by virtue of a 13-3 regular season record, and a home playoff win over San Diego last week in the Divisional Round. The Patriots finished with a 12-4 regular season mark, giving it the number 2 seed in the AFC. Last week the Patriots hammered the visiting Indianapolis Colts by a 43-22 count.

Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl History

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made the NFL playoffs a total of 26 times in the history of their franchise.

The Steelers have not only appeared in the playoffs a bunch of times over their history. They have also managed to advance through the playoffs many times in their history. The Steelers have managed to advance to the Super Bowl 7 times in their team’s history.

The most impressive thing about the Steelers is that they seem to win the big game every time that they advance to the Super Bowl. In their 7 Super Bowl appearances the Steelers have managed to win the Super Bowl 6 times.

Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (six), won more AFC Championship Games (eight) and played in (fifteen) and hosted more (eleven) conference championship games than any other AFC or NFC team. The Steelers won their most recent championship, Super Bowl XLIII, on February 1, 2009.

The Steelers are six-time Super Bowl champions, having won Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL and XLIII. Pittsburgh has defeated Minnesota, Dallas (on two occasions), the-then Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks (thanks, Zebras) and Arizona Cardinals in their Super Bowl victories.

This team’s winning tradition should bring a lot of confidence to the field during the playoffs. This team’s roster may have more postseason success and confidence than any team other than the Patriots in the playoffs. They have won the Super Bowl twice in the last decade and their roster still has many of the same players.

The other Super Bowls that have been won by this franchise happened in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1995. The Steelers have a chance in this postseason to level things out with the Patriots as the Patriots have won the big game three times since the start of the new century.

AFC Championship Game: New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The AFC Championship Game is going to be a take-no-prisoners affairs, as two hard-hitting teams go head-to-head when the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers meet on Sunday at Heinz Field (6:30 pm ET, CBS).

Besides a trip to the Super Bowl being up for grabs, what makes this matchup even more intriguing is the fact that over the last half of the season, the Steelers lost one game – that being to these same Jets last month, a 22-17 New York win as a 4-point road underdog in Pittsburgh.

And they’re pretty even over the past seven head-to-head, the Steelers at 4-3 SU and the Jets at 4-3 against the spread.

New York beat AFC East division rival New England Patriots 28-21 in their AFC divisional matchup on the road last Sunday, covering as a 9-point underdog.

Pittsburgh beat AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens 31-24 in the other AFC divisional game Saturday, cashing as a 3.5–point home favorites. Pittsburgh trailed 21-7 in the second quarter of that tilt before mounting a furious comeback.

The Jets are 13-3 SU in their last 16 games on the road, and the Steelers are 4-1 SU in their last five games at home.

New York Jets @ New England Patriots: AFC Divisional Playoffs Sunday

Wow. After getting shellacked 45-3 by the Pats back in December at Gillette Stadium, the Rex Ryan-led New York Jets have opened their collective mouths so wide, you could drive either end of an anvil down their throats. Just what are they thinking? Bravado works only when you can back it up, and it seems a tall order for the 2nd year quarterback Mark Sanchez going up against all-world QB Tom Brady, he of multiple Super Bowl championships and league MVP awards. But who knows? That’s why they play the game.

But it still seems a tough task for the Jets, who face a team in New England that has everything going for it: the best record in football, the hottest quarterback, the best offence, the most decorated and innovative coach of the past decade (Bill Belichick).

New York Jets (12-5) @ New England Patriots (14-2)

AFC Divisional Playoffs Saturday: Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

This game IS going to be close. They always are, and this season, the Ravens lost all four games by a combined 16 points. The Ravens and the Steelers are mirror images of one another: both have tall, strong armed quarterbacks (Steelers have Roethlisberger and the Ravens have Flacco); both have all-world defences led by all-pro safeties (Steelers with Troy Polamalu and the Ravens with Ed Reed), both have strong running games, but the ability to go vertical with the passing game if needed. It’s scary how close these two teams are.

So in the final analysis, turnovers and one or two big plays are all that separates each of these teams from going to the AFC Championship game.

Baltimore Ravens (13-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs AFC Wildcard Sunday

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs AFC Wildcard Sunday: The Chiefs head into this game as home underdogs, having gone from a 4-win team to hosting a playoff game. They are solid on both sides of the ball, but great nowhere. Much of the credit has to go to Quarterback Matt Cassell, who threw for over 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns, yet gave up only seven interceptions. The KC defence was good, but not great, finishing 14th overall. But they are facing a very good, playoff hardened Baltimore team.

The Ravens are led by all-world middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who continues to be one of the top defensive players in the NFL today. He will have to be on his game, as the Chiefs had the NFL’s number-1 ranked rushing attack, which will help keep the pass rush off of Cassel.

Baltimore is led by the two-pronged attack of running back Ray Rice and quarterback Joe Flacco. The Ravens should be able to have success running the ball, and that could open up some play action throws for Flacco down the field.

As long as the Chiefs stay away from turnovers, and can limit the amount of yards that Rice and the Ravens rushing attack gain on first down, this game should be very close and come down to who executes best in the fourth quarter.

New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts NFL Wildcard Matchup

New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts NFL Wildcard Matchup: This game is a re-match of last year’s AFC Championship game, where the Colts edged the Jets to gain entrance to the Super Bowl. However, that is where similarities end. The Colts are entering this year’s game with a ton of question marks, having a dozen players out of the lineup with various injuries, including core players such as Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, Anthony Gonzalez and Bob Sanders. But they do have all-world quarterback Peyton Manning, and that along with home field advantage just might be enough to handle the visitors from New York.

The Jets are again led by a tough defence and a great running attack, and 2nd year QB Mark Sanchez, who has been given a greater role in the offence with an expanded playbook. However, the Jets have slumped down the stretch heading into the playoffs, while the Colts enter the post season having won four in a row, all with playoff-like implications. It’s close to a pick’em game, with the Colts slim 3-point favorites.