Welcome to the 4Cast. An all new rundown touching on keys to the game, magnitude, predictions, and yes weather. Now hurry up and lose your mind, it’s the freaking AFC Championship game, winner gets a crack at a shiny new Lombardi.
There are no “keys” here, in the traditional sense. We haven’t seen the Patriots wheel and deal, fight it out, and flat out find a way to win like this since the three outta four days. Blount had a monster game last week in the divisional round against the Colts. What if he has 4 carries for 2.5 yards? Would you feel like the game is sunk if that happens? No, of course not. Let’s keep this simple. Hit Peyton, hard, and often. Outthink him on defense (lookin’ at you Bill), and keep Tom clean. Do that and you’ve got yourself a golden ticket to New York. To borrow from our glory days Defensive Coordinator, Romeo Crennel, “play good football,” and “eliminate bad football.”
He also said “boom” a lot, not sure how to work that in.
Look, it’s the playoffs, win or go home. A position Patriots fans should be very familiar with considering that this will be the third year in a row the Pats have played in the AFC Championship game, having hosted the last two. The last time the Patriots took to the road for a title game was in a losing effort against the Manning led Indianapolis Colts, who went on to beat the Chicago Bears in Superbowl XLIV.
Win and you’re going to the Super Bowl. Brady gets billed as the best ever, regardless of whether he gets that ring or not. Six appearances, and three rings is an argument ender. Manning takes a serious hit to his legacy, another playoff loss at the hands of ole Tommy Boy. He’ll instantly be the greatest unclutch quarterback of all time. The Dan Marino who fell, awkwardly, into a ring, and couldn’t get a second.
Lose and the dynasty days will feel like a lifetime ago. Teddy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, and Rodney Harrison, are long retired, in fact all three of them earn a living as analysts these days. Brady will start to hear about how his most clutch days are behind him as well. Not to mention he’ll be a year older, and a year closer to retirement.
Oh and everybody who loves to hate the Pats? They get the greatest gift of all, “spygate” as message board ammunition for another year. Please guys, win for our sanity.
–I tend to abuse my gift–
Denver is the favorite here (-5.5 as of right now) and honestly, they should be. The game is in Denver. They have Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning has a nuclear armada’s worth of weapons. We have Tom Brady. Tom Brady has a strong running game… and that’s about it. Alright he has some help, but by comparison advantage Denver.
Special teams is the reason the Broncos lost this year in Foxboro. That being said they have a stable of fantastic return men in Holliday, Welker, and Decker. With the brother of the best punter in football, and the kicker who made Tebow a winner. Advantage Denver. It’s not a landslide though. New England has been solid, absolutely. But Denver has that extra pop and sizzle in this department.
Now defense, and this is where I listen to my gut.* To me the X-factor has got to be Bill Belichick Vs. Peyton Manning. Anytime Peyton is involved you can’t love your chances. Any other time, that is. Bill Belichick is the reason I don’t truly consider this a rivalry. Rivalries are back and forth, but this matchup has been pretty lopsided. It’s 10-4 in Bill and Brady’s favor. Looking back, images of a flustered Manning**, picking himself up after another ill timed interception flow to the forefront of the mind… Advantage Patriots, and with that.
–I don’t know why–
Pats win! Pats win! Pats win! 38-35, New England Patriots advance!
–You’re still here? Alright weather talk it is–
Partly cloudy with a chance of shame, and disappointment. Tebow Envy to set in around 4pm Eastern. To be serious, around game time the temperature in Denver is expected to be in the high 50’s. Sunny with a light breeze. I know, I know. I wish it would it be Lambough weather too, because these conditions do favor the Bronco offense, but let’s not get crazy. When the game is over, you wouldn’t blame it on the weatherman anyway. Refs, maybe, but not the weatherman.
–Stupid Zebras. NOBODY LIKES YOU!–
Go nuts gang, enjoy the game. LET’S GO PATS!
*My gut is also telling me I shouldn’t skip breakfast and chug energy drinks, trust it.