Barstool Sports

Friday, January 13, 2006

Divisional Playoffs: Patriots look to pass Mile High mark

For the Patriots to advance in the NFL Playoffs they are going to need to vanquish one of their most difficult opponents and they'll have to do it in their home. The Patriots travel to Denver to take on the Broncos in another primetime Saturday night game that has the experts split on who will walk away with the win.

Although the Patriots have won 3 of the last 4 Super Bowls, the Broncos have been a historic menace and the last 4 years is no exception. The Rocky Mountain news reported that the Broncos are the only team, that has played the Pats at least 4 times during that stretch that has a winning record:

Broncos 3-1

Dolphins 4-6

Steelers 1-4

Jets 2-8

Colts 1-6

Bills 1-9

Belichick is actually 2-3 against the Broncos with wins in 2000 and 2003 and losses in 2001, 2002 and this season. Prior to 2001 the Broncos were a constant nuisance to the Pats. In 1987 the Broncos defeated the Patriots in Denver, en route to the Super Bowl. It looked like the two teams were going to meet again in the 1997 playoffs as the Patriots beat Pittsburgh at home, but the Broncos lost to the Jaguars in a shocking upset that sent Jacksonville to New England and the Patriots to the Super Bowl. Their most memorable game of the last few years came in 2003 when the Pats defeated the Broncos on Monday Night Football. The Pats trailed by one late and had the ball inside their own 5. Belichick opted to take the safety, giving Denver a 3 point lead, and punted. From there the Pats got the ball back and Tom Brady lead them on a touchdown drive that won the game. The win was part of the Pats record setting 21 game winning streak.

To win on Saturday the Pats need to stop Denver's running game and get on the board early. While Denver appears to be the running back factory (the way BYU used to be the quarterback factory), the Pats front 7 are healthy and should make things difficult for Denver runners. As for Jake "the Snake":

No, not that Jake "the Snake", this one:

Jake Plummer has had a pro bowl season (added to the roster after Drew Breese went down) but his number of throws is down, as Broncos coaches try to keep him from having to win the game, or resorting back to his Jake "the mistake" persona when he was in Arizona. The Patriots have to put pressure on Plummer, who can run, and hope that creates some bad throws. In the Week 6 meeting Plummer constantly burned the Pat's secondary, most of which has been replaced.

UB thinks the Pats will put up points early on the suspect Denver pass defense and the Broncos will run out much of the clock with their run game. The game should be close late, which is prime time for Tom Brady. UB sees the Pats winning a tough 27-20 game.

It is worth mentioning that the 5 Denver Post sports writers pick the Broncos to win, but their celebrity pick-em guest this week picks the Patriots...That celebrity is none other than Celtics legend Larry Joe Bird. Larry says he wants to see a Patriots-Colts AFC title game. After the last Pats Super Bowl win the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy interviewed Bird about the Patriots success and Bird said he was pulling for the Pats all along the way, even against Indy in 2003. Larry said he always pulled for the Boston teams while playing for the Celtics and liked the way the Patriots played.

I said the Patriots were going to win on Saturday!!!

As for the early game on Saturday, the Redskins have been fun at the end of this year, but the Seahawks will get their 1st playoff win since 1984:

Seahawks 31, Redskins 10

On Sunday the Colts will go bananas against the Steelers, who used all their plays up last week.

Colts 50, Steelers 17

And in Chicago the "Superfans" will be so drunk by the 3rd quarter they will miss seeing a Rex Grossman fumble returned for a touchdown...

Panthers 16, Bears 6

"That's great hon, but the game is on..."


At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's the day! Go Pats!


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