The AFC’s first Divisional round battle will take place this evening at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. AFC East Champion and the conference’s top seed, the New England Patriots, will butt heads with the 8-8 Denver Broncos at 8:00pm ET on CBS. Odds makers, based upon the 14 point line, are considering this a slam dunk win for the Patriots. Books are also anticipating plenty of points in tonight’s contest as the game total is set at 50.5. Need some help with your NFL Picks? Get the latest 2012 NFL Playoff Odds available now.
When these two teams hooked up at Mile High Stadium four weeks ago Denver had a six game win streak on the line. The Broncos appeared poised to successfully defend that streak after jumping out to a 16-7 lead, but their fast start would quickly fade as the Patriots outscored them 34-7 the rest of the way. However, were it not for three Denver fumbles, the outcome might have looked much different.
The Broncos, while no offensive powerhouse, proved more than capable of moving the ball on New England’s suspect defense, finishing the game with 23 first downs and 393 total yards. Tim Tebow also showed well, throwing for 194 yards while rushing for 93 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. The problem for Denver, in addition to the turnovers, was its inability to stop the Patriots offense.
Unfortunately for the Broncos and the hoards of Tebow lovers, that will be their undoing this evening as well. Denver’s defense made strides this season, but it is still a long ways off from being able to shut down a team like New England, particularly at Gillette Stadium.
One gets the feeling that Tom Brady, who completed 23-of-34 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s 41-23 win at Denver, wants to make a statement in this game. That may sound silly since the Broncos just made it into the playoffs with an 8-8 record, but the truth is, the Patriots do have something to prove. New England’s last Super Bowl win came in 2005 and its last three post-season games all ended in defeat, including the last two at Foxboro.
Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick can, perhaps, see their legacy being tarnished just a bit, but here’s saying, unequivocally, that New England’s post-season slide ends tonight. Some people are inclined to believe that God is somehow behind Tebow’s success this season and Denver’s ‘miracle’ win over the Steelers last weekend, well, it will take a super natural power for the Broncos to win this game.
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Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots 2012 NFL Playoff Odds: Provided by Bovada.lv
Denver Broncos +14 (-115), Over 50.5 (-110)
New England Patriots -14 (-105), Under 50.5 (-110)