The New England Patriots advanced to their fifth straight AFC championship game. This will be the second time the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will meet this season. The AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will be played on Sunday, January 24, 2016, at 3:05 p.m. ET at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The matchup will be televised on CBS.
The Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been struggling this year with just nine touchdown passes against 17 interceptions as he plays through a foot injury. He is completing just 59.8 percent of his throws and showing little arm strength. The Patriots can keep everything in front of them knowing that Manning can’t throw the ball 40 yards down the field like the good old days. The Broncos have the best defense in the NFL and that could be an issue for the undersized New England receivers who tend to have trouble getting off of the line of scrimmage. The Broncos running backs are good and Anderson rushed 15 times for 72 yards and Hillman 16 times for 38 yards last Sunday. Anderson had a huge day in the first Patriots-Broncos matchup , rushing 15 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
The New England Patriots traveled to Denver on Nov. 29 this season and lost, 30-24 in overtime in a Sunday Night Football game. The Patriots quarterback Tom Brady needs to get the ball out of his hands quickly for the AFC Championship game. If he’s forced to stand in the pocket for more than two seconds, outside linebacker Demarcus Ware and his mates are sure to be right on his back. Sebastian Vollmer might be back, but the offensive line is still awfully patchwork at the moment. Without even trying the ground game, New England is going to be reliant on its passing attack to win this one. Now that wide receivers Edelman and Amendola are back, and Gronk is back, the Patriots will likely try to spread out the defense with four and five wide, and also use the quick pass for the run game to neutralize the Broncos’ pass rush.