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NFL Playoffs - AFC Championship - New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning, I feel like we've seen this movie before. Oh, that's right, we have 16 times before. Brady is 11-5 head to head vs. Manning and this 17th matchup could very well be the final battle we see between these two hall of fame quarterbacks.

Brady and the Patriots have beaten Manning four of the last five meetings. The lone Manning win came in the AFC Championship game two years ago. Of course we all remember the Broncos went on to get embarrassed by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl 43-8 at MetLife Stadium.

Despite losing four of their final six games of the year, Tom Brady and the Patriots got back to business last week, beating the Chiefs 27-20. Brady got back to the Brady we have seen for years, picking apart an opposing defense and making it look easy. Brady went 28-42 for 302 yards and three touchdowns (scored on a QB sneak). Thanks to a healthier offensive line, Brady was also kept clean, avoiding sacks from the Chiefs defense.

It was a typical game for Brady's favorite target Julian Edelman who just came back from his broken foot, as he caught 10 passes for 100 yards on 16 targets.

Getting Edelman back helped open the field for Rob Gronkowski, as he was the recipient of both of Brady's passing touchdowns.

Expect more of the same this week against the Denver Broncos. Brady will control the game with short passes to Edelman and Danny Amendola before taking a shot downfield to Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell and Keshawn Martin

Even with a lead, do not expect Steven Jackson or James White to see double-digit carries. New England ran for just 38 yards last week on 14 carries. Bill Belichick would rather the ball be in the hands of Brady and you can't blame him for that, as it is very rare that Brady makes a mistake and costs the Patriots a game.

For Denver, it is great to see Peyton Manning back under center and somewhat healthier than we saw him earlier on in the season. However, he still is not even close to being Tom Brady at this point in his career. Last week against the Steelers, Manning went 21-37 for 222 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. His passes still looked slow and wobbly and it's hurting the value of Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. They can't make plays if the ball isn't getting to them quick enough. 

The duo of C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman really helped Denver last week and could come up big against the Patriots this weekend. Denver rushed for 110 yards on 31 carries and scored their only touchdown on the ground. Denver may look to go with a heavy ground attack for several reasons. The first of course is to keep Peyton Manning on his feet, avoiding any hits that could injury him or causing him to be uncomfortable in the pocket and the second is to keep Tom Brady and the Patriots offense on the sidelines for as long as possible.

Denver led the NFL in pass defense during the regular season but going up against a Steelers offense that was without Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams, not to mention an injured Ben Roethlisberger. they still gave up 339 passing yards. The Broncos gave up big plays to Darrius Heyward-Bey and Sammie Coates. They'll be facing a much tougher challenge this week facing Brady and a healthy Patriots receiving corp,

As much as I'd love to see Tom Brady and the Patriots lose, there is just no way I see it happening. New England is clicking at the right time and they have gotten healthier leading into this game. I'll take Tom Brady over Peyton Manning in a big game any day.

Give me the Patriots 27-23.

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AFC Championship - Patriots vs Broncos - Brady vs Manning