Championship Week Snapshots: The Verge of Immortality

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 14, 2014


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DENVER (VS NEW ENGLAND, SUNDAY EARLY)
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THE FACTS

-Denver is 12-1 (counting the playoff win over the Chargers) when they rush for 100 yards as a team. The only loss was the freak defeat at the hands of New England on November 24.

-Despite giving up 24.9 PPG this season, the eleventh worst average, the Broncos have held their last three opponents to 17 or less points, an average of 14.7 PPG. Granted, two were Houston and Oakland, but the stifling of Philip Rivers through most of three quarters qualifies as impressive.

-Playoffs included, the Broncos are 8-1 at home this season, winning games by an average of 37.8 to 21.9. No opponent has scored more than 28 points at Mile High this season.

-Including the playoff win over the Chargers, Peyton Manning averages 8.25 Real Passing Yards Per Attempt, the best average in the NFL, and has been sacked just 18 times in 17 games.

KEY MATCHUP: Jitters and inexperience may have undone Andrew Luck in Foxboro, but Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno are more capable of taking down the Patriots defense. New England is ninth worst against the run (4.46 YPA) and seventh worst on third down stops (42.24% fail rate), so you'd think Denver would just play smart.

The Patriots only give up a respectable six net passing yards per attempt, so Manning will look to beat New England underneath. Moreno and Montee Ball will see heavy use, and stacks and trips will be employed for Wes Welker and Eric Decker to gash for yards. You have to be smart to beat New England, and Manning has the tools to compliment his prudence.



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