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NFL Divisional Round Playoffs Free Pick + Preview Broncos vs. Patriots

Denver vs New England NFL Playoffs Handicapping

Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos will look to stun the football world once again as they continue on the road to Super Bowl 46 this Saturday. After coming in as 7.5-point underdogs, the Broncos will now take on the New England Patriots in Foxboro who are favored by 13.5 points.

Broncos vs Patriots
Venue/Stadium: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Time/Date: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, January September 14, 2011
NFL Odds From: 5 Dimes
Moneyline: OFF
Spread (ATS): New England -13.5
Over/Under: 50.5

While Steelers fans watched in horror, Broncos fans wept and kneeled down to their quarterback Messiah who’s performance against Pittsburgh was once again a surprise, as he passed for a career-high 316 yards and three touchdowns, counting two passing, including an 80-yard game-winner to Demaryius Thomas on the first play in overtime to win last weekend’s AFC Wild-Card Game, 29-23.

It was another wild ride just as it has been since Denver head coach John Fox installed Tebow as the team’s starting quarterback in Week 7, after starting the season 1-4.

Tebow then led the Broncos to wins in seven of their next eight games, a stretch that included three overtime victories and a string of improbable late-game comebacks.

But then in the midst of Tejesus’ glory, the miracles seemed to run out, as the Broncos finished out the regular season with a disappointing losing streak.

Nevertheless, Denver and their Sheppard re-discovered themselves, building a 20-6 lead at halftime behind an extremely productive second quarter against the Steelers.

Pittsburgh came back to tie the game and force overtime, but then the Broncos won the coin toss and started the winning drive after a touchback.

It was Denver’s first playoff appearance since 2005. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Tebow completed only 10 passes, but made the most of them as the Broncos repeatedly beat the Steelers’ secondary. Thomas caught four passes for 204 yards, while Eddie Royal had a 30-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the AFC East Champion New England Patriots which completed a 13-3 season with a 49-21 win over Buffalo, has been resting while getting ready to face the Broncos for the second time this season.

The first meeting the Pats beat Denver 41-23 at Mile High. Now the Broncos will have to dig deep in order to win this one in Tom Brady’s house, and Bill Belichick’s domain.

While the Patriots played well offensively this season, the defense has been simply horrible, and ranks 31st against the pass on nearly 300 yards per game, and 17th against the run.

In all three of the Patriots losses this season, the opposing team’s quarterback picked apart the New England secondary. So if Tebow can effectively pass the football, the Broncos may have a chance, but they will have to get a decent running game established early on to keep the Pats from stacking the box.

Matt’s Prediction: New England 35, Denver 21 —

The big question here. Can Tebow deliver another exciting victory for the Broncos? The bigger question–can the Broncos defense stop the Patriots offense? Probably not, but they might be able to slow them down a little bit. The Patriots are going to be fired up at home, and the offense and Brady are far too experienced to allow themselves to be shut down totally.

However, they have been known to start slow. If the Broncos can get ahead early in the game, they may have a chance at knocking off the favorites.

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