NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3) at DENVER BRONCOS (8-5)
Sunday 4:15 PM ET, CBS, Direct TV (715), Sirius (NE 86, Den 94)
What do you get when Tom Brady's Patriots meet Tim Tebow's Broncos? The conference championship preview! That statement is both plausible and preposterous at the same time. Tebow gets as much coverage as Brady and Aaron Rodgers because of three factors that set the hearts of video and fantasy fans a-flutter. He is a running quarterback. He wins. He succeeds when everyone says he will fail. That makes him the everyman for every fan. The NFL owes us this game after serving up two turkeys on both the Thursday and Saturday versions of Thursday Night Football.
What To Watch
The NFL is a copycat league. The sooner the Broncos front office stops seeing Tebow's faults, the sooner they will realize that they've got something that cannot be copied. Bronco players are so all-in on Tebow that they know their mission—Keep the opponent to within one score and give the ball to the Tebow in the last two minutes. The contest between Denver's 19-ranked defense and New England's second-ranked offense is tilts heavily towards the Patriots.
This is a game where the Tebow and his band of Merry Men must help the defense. Denver's offense must dominate New England's easily dominated defense. The Patriots last week allowed 27 points and 463 yards to the lowly Redskins. The Pats won because it's what they do. The Broncs are still on that learning curve. New England is favored by 8.
Who Will Win
There's more to the Broncos than Tim Tebow. Keep your eye on LBs Von Miller (#58)and Wesley Woodyard (#59). But, who's better at winning big games than Tom Brady? The names Rodgers and Brees come to mind. They've done it for years; Tebow for half a season. NEW ENGLAND