Gridiron Gab NFL Divisional Playoff Preview – Denver at New England

Last week Tim Tebow won the hearts of a lot of America with a performance that stunned the Steelers and knocked out the defending AFC Champs from the postseason.

After all the hoopla around the outing that the former Florida QB had, this week he will have an even stiffer test, as he heads up to New England, where he’ll battle single digit temps as well as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady as the Broncos will look to top New England and advance to the AFC Title game.

It’s a rematch of a matchup just a few weeks back as Tebow and the Broncos at the time were on a roll. All the Pats did was rack up 451 yards in the solid win. Brady threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in that game, rushing for a third score.

While the Pats have had their issues in their last two home games, falling behind big to the Dolphins and Bills before rallying to win both, here’s thinking they will go for the kill early against Denver.

The Broncos have got to keep the game in front of them, and now allow those Pats WR’s and TE’s to get behind them and break off big plays. Look for the Pats to keep Tebow off the field with sustained drives as well.

Belichick knows all too well that he has a defense that isn’t very good, and that’s why he will lean on Brady and the offense to try and pile it on early and often.

The game plan will be to try and force Tebow into mistakes, and after playing nearly perfect a week ago, here’s thinking he will revert back to the form of the last three regular season games.

It was those games (Broncos went 0-3) that Tebow was 30 of 72 (41.1 percent) for 439 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. I can see the Pats licking their chops with cold temps and their own hot offense dominating.

Another key for the Broncos will be injuries. Wide receiver Eric Decker isn’t expected to play after suffering a sprained knee last weekend, and safety Brian Dawkins may remain out with a neck problem. Defensive end Elvis Dumervil (right ankle) also missed practice time this week.

The Pats got safety Patrick Chung and linebacker Brandon Spikes back in Week 17 after extended injury absences. Spikes, a friend of Tebow’s while the two were teammates at Florida, figures to help against Denver’s top-ranked rushing attack.

This game is tailor made for Brady and the Pats offense. They know all too well about playing in the cold, and I can see him having a huge outing against a Broncos D that allowed the Steelers back into the game in the fourth quarter.

The clock strikes midnight for Tebow and the Broncos in the cold of Foxboro.

New England 34 Denver 17


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