After watching the New England Patriots blow out the Houston Texans; there are two definite conclusions to be drawn. The Patriots are the obvious favorite to win the AFC and there is only one team that can beat them; the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos would be underdogs but they have a few things that no one else in the conference has. The first one is Peyton Manning. As good of a season as Matt Schaub is having for the Texans, he’s not on the level with Manning and Tom Brady. If a team is going to beat the Patriots; they have to be able to score with them. While the Broncos offense has not been great lately, they have the potential to put 40 up on anyone. Brady is going to come out slinging; Manning can stand toe to toe with him.
As great as the Texans defense was early in the season; the Broncos defense is better right now. The Patriots are going to score 28-31 points on everyone but the Broncos have not been making the mistakes that the Texans made on Monday night. The secondary for the Broncos has played great since that early October loss to the Patriots, and they compliment that play with a pass rush. It is true that the Patriots offense had their way with the Broncos earlier this season, but that was before the changes in the secondary. It was also before the unit really came together after adjusting to the defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio. Again, the Broncos will not completely stop the Patriots but they can make enough plays to win the game.
The last thing the Broncos have going for them, at least with Manning at quarterback, it that they have played in New England already this season. When they were there in October; they were still finding themselves as a team. They have not lost since that day and would go into a rematch with a lot more confidence.
The Patriots are the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl again, but the Broncos have a shot to knock them off. In fact, they are the only team that has a shot.
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