W2W4 in the AFC Championship Game: New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos

Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /
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Summary & Game Score Prediction:

New England Patriots
Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports /

Historically, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have struggled in the thin air of Denver. Part of that was former head coach Mike Shanahan but Invesco/Sports Authority Field has not been friendly to them. Mile High Stadium was long a nightmare to the Patriots in the past and the franchise is 9-20 overall in Denver. More recently, in the 2013 AFC Championship game, Denver knocked off the Patriots 26-16 and this year Denver won 30-24 in overtime. The Patriots won in 2011 in Denver, but lost in 2009 and 2005.

This game features two strong defenses and offenses that can perform well when in rhythm and healthy. Both teams have proven they are capable of winning ugly this season, but Denver has had much more experience with it after having to win with Peyton Manning misfiring at quarterback much of the season. New England needs to not get caught up in a slugfest and be explosive on offense and jump to an early lead to quiet the home crowd.

This time the Patriots have their offensive weapons and should be better on offense against the strong Denver defense. It will likely again be a close game with both defenses making big plays. In those games, the home team usually has the advantage but in the playoffs it comes down the quarterback making bigger plays. At this point, it is Tom Brady who is most likely to come up with the big plays and get in the end zone.

GAME SCORE PREDICTION: New England Patriots 27 – Denver Broncos 18