Championship Week Snapshots: The Verge of Immortality

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 14, 2014

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-The Patriots have scored 34+ points in five of their last seven games, and never less than 20 points in that stretch. They're 6-1 in those games, the streak beginning with the 34-31 overtime thriller over Denver.

-LeGarrette Blount has run for 355 yards and six touchdowns in the last two games. New England as a team has run for 501 yards in the last two outings.

-No opponent has scored more than 31 points against the Patriots this season. Interestingly, the Patriots are 3-1 when an opponent scores 30 or 31 points.

-The Patriots are 4-4 on the road this season, winning by an average of 25.1 to 21.6. Their losses came to the Bengals, Jets (in overtime), Panthers, and Dolphins, and none were by more than a touchdown.

KEY MATCHUP: It's not too surprising that Blount (Marshawn Lynch without dreadlocks or a Skittle fetish) pounded the Colts and Bills' run defenses in the last two games; they give up an average of 4.47 and 4.38 YPA respectively, and Bill Belichick was all too thrilled to unleash his new favorite toy. Denver, however, will be a different animal.

The Broncos give up only 3.87 yards a carry, the tenth best average in the league. Ryan Mathews is the only player with a 100-yard rushing day against the Broncos this season, so New England will have to be ready in case Blount's hot-streak cools down. I have no doubts they will be, but if the Patriots can keep establishing that run, this will be their biggest road win of the year.

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