Brady/Manning XVII

Zososoxfan

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Not exactly the half many here expected. Simms' commentary is asinine. Brady getting knocked around, looking completely out of sorts. I think the Pats need to utilize some screen passes to neutralize this rush because the crossing routes and quick slants are being well covered. Manning looks a lot better than I certainly expected.
 

brandonchristensen

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And Manning, who apparently retires after this game like Ray Lewis did, wins the last 3 playoff games and swings the ball back into his favor.

Woo.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Maybe oversimplification, but I think it comes down to if the Pats can stop the Broncos running game. If Denver can get the ground game going, they can extend their own drives and tire the Pat's D out, especially by the fourth quarter, and shorten the game/limit New England's number of possession so even if Brady is having a good day moving the ball, they're less likely to be down a lot late in the game. If New England can stop the run and put them into passing situations on third downs, I think their defense will be able to get off the field and stay fresh for later in the game and give the ball back to the offense to try and build a lead.

Obviously a lot more going on than that (turnovers, injuries, Manning playing better than expected, etc.) but I think the Denver running game will be key.
Well, I couldn't have been more wrong.
 

dcmissle

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And Manning, who apparently retires after this game like Ray Lewis did, wins the last 3 playoff games and swings the ball back into his favor.

Woo.
Carolina or Arizona will have something to say about that.

Congrats to Spike.
 

86spike

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I've been thinking a lot about a prediction on this game and as the week has worn on, I find myself becoming more and more confident in a Denver win.

I think it will be a close game and just like last week, the biggest key will be Manning's Offense avoiding turnovers and letting the Defense take care of business. It's kind of an obvious statement, but if Peyton throws several picks or Denver loses some fumbles, NE will probably win. If they protect the ball, I like Denver with a final score around 26-24.

Here's my reasoning:

General Home Field Advantage:

NE under Brady is only 2-6 in Denver. The altitude plays a part, but so does the loud crowd when NE is trying to run a hurry up attack and communicate. Natural grass as opposed to turf is another factor which I'll detail below.

Denver On Defense:

(This is wordy since it's the key match up in the game, IMO)

Football Outsiders ranks Denver as the year's #1 Defense. Not only that, but they are tied for 3rd toughest schedule when accounting for the strength of the offenses they played. So they faced a gauntlet schedule and fared better than any other team.

Denver will be very hard to run against and I don't think NE will even try it much.

NE's passing offense has all of its key players back (we can't say the entire offense is healthy since your top 2 RBs are out, of course) and I expect several long drives and multiple TDs. That said, I expect Denver's D to rush 4 (Tom Brady, may I introduce you to a gentleman named Malik Von WareWolfe... Who am I kidding, there's little gentle about him) and then flood the flats in an attempt to disrupt NE's precision catch-and-run pass plays. This won't work every time, Edelman and Gronk will have some big plays along the way, but they are going to make things tough and Brady may need to hold the ball a little longer than he wants as receivers try to get open.

On the subject of getting open, I predict that Edelman will have a harder time getting open than he did last week. There are three reasons for my hunch: (a) Chris Harris Jr. is healed up significantly and will be covering him; Harris is possibly the best CB in the game at covering slot receivers (b) Edelman will be feeling more foot pain than he did last week when he played his first full speed game and went all out; 7 days later he could be more sore than he was after a long lay off and a gradual build up in workouts; if he can't cut and pivot without some pain, Harris will have a little more ease (but again, JE will make some plays, I'm not predicting he's a disaster (c) natural grass (more on that next).

A few days ago I saw an interesting couple of stats about NE playing on natural grass over the last few years. In the last 3 seasons and playoffs, NE's record playing on grass is 7-8. In addition, 4 of the 5 stadiums where Brady has a losing record in his career have natural grass (the fifth is SEA and that was only one game played). Those stadiums are Miami, KC, Carolina, and Denver and Brady's career numbers in those games is 10-17. Now, I'm sure a part of this is just the simple fact that it is harder to win on the road, but I also wonder if the precision passing attack that relies of timing and exact route running might be harder to execute on a surface that is not perfectly even like Modern turf surfaces are. Tomorrow might be a little muddy and there might be a little rain late in the game and I think NE will have some drives killed by failure to make the timing plays work. It won't keep NE out of the end zone, but it should lower the amount of drives where they score.

The game will probably be close in the 4th quarter and fatigue for NE due to the altitude will creep in as it often does.

All of those factors have me feeling confident that Denver's #1 Defense has what it takes to keep the team in the game and allow the offense to squeak by.

Denver On Offense:

No one mistakes this offense for the laser show Manning led a few years back. The passing game will not feature long completions or balls fit into triple coverage against all odds. Manning is not that guy. I expect to see the same approach employed last week vs Pitt: run the ball, employ a deliberate pace and minimize risk taking. Denver stalled out and had to settle for several redzone FGs last week (and many other games this year) and I expect to see that happen some tomorrow. But I think they will fare a bit better in both the run game and in converting TDs instead of FGs. Again, going by the Football Outsiders defensive rankings, Pitt had the #8 Defense and faced the 16th toughest schedule. In comparison, NE had the #15 Defense, but faced the 32nd (last place) toughest schedule.

I also suspect that Manning will be ready to shift into a hurry up attack in the event that NE builds a 2 score lead with time ticking. They never had to do that last week as the score was close all game, but if needed there is another gear. That gear may not work and will come with higher risk of turnovers, but if they're trailing, I expect to see a faster pace than what Manning has shown since coming back from the injury. That said, Denver's conservative offense succeeded vs Pitt and I think it will be able to do the same vs NE and the Denver Defense will handle the rest.

Special Teams is always an X-factor but kick-offs are seldom returned in Denver (easy to boom it past the EZ) and I'd say both squads have solid enough ST units to make that an predictable advantage either way.

Coaching favors the Pats. Kubiak has not shown any sign of ingenuity or creativity, but I think he's got the team focused and motivated much more successfully than John Fox did. The best case scenario for the Broncos when it comes to coaching is for the game plan to work and for there to be little need for big adjustments.

So, that took my 30 mins to type, and I feel better now.

I think Denver takes it tomorrow in a close contest and I'd say I'm feeling about 60/40 that I'm right.

Or maybe NE skullfucks them the way SEA did in the SB a few years ago. (Shrug)
Anybody want to know next week's winning lottery numbers?

Also: Tom Brady is a motherfucking tough son of a bitch. Dude takes every hit you can throw at him and keeps attacking. Respect.
 

riboflav

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Anybody want to know next week's winning lottery numbers?

Also: Tom Brady is a motherfucking tough son of a bitch. Dude takes every hit you can throw at him and keeps attacking. Respect.
It's honestly the most frustrating thing for me as an unabashed Brady fanboy. He rarely gets credit for this. I assume it's because of his "model" persona (or maybe also his looking to the ref for PF flags after a big hit, but I chalk that up to his unbridled desire to win). But, the guy is as tough and as fierce of a competitor as they come. In some games you have to kill him off five times just to put him away.

And, guess what? He'll be back next year in the same game. Not many fans would be genuinely confident enough to make that statement.
 

dcmissle

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Manning > BB EOG:

"This might be my last rodeo. So, it has been a pleasure"
 

soxhop411

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Two days before the AFC Championship Game, Danny Kanell took heavy criticism for suggesting the Broncos needed to play past the whistle against Brady in order to prevent him from getting comfortable. Denver apparently took that suggestion a step further, with one player admitting, via MMQB’s Robert Klemko, that he tried to go privates-to-face with the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

“I tried to lay on him a few times,” said one Broncos rusher after the game. “I tried to rub my nuts on his face.”

http://thebiglead.com/2016/01/26/broncos-nuts-tom-brady/
 

Devizier

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Two days before the AFC Championship Game, Danny Kanell took heavy criticism for suggesting the Broncos needed to play past the whistle against Brady in order to prevent him from getting comfortable. Denver apparently took that suggestion a step further, with one player admitting, via MMQB’s Robert Klemko, that he tried to go privates-to-face with the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

“I tried to lay on him a few times,” said one Broncos rusher after the game. “I tried to rub my nuts on his face.”

http://thebiglead.com/2016/01/26/broncos-nuts-tom-brady/
Gotta be Von Miller, right?
 

BigSoxFan

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Certainly not Demarcus Ware. Sadly, Miller succeeded both literally and figuratively.
 

Marciano490

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has to be.

Probably referring to this play:

Before fights, we'd go as long without showering or shaving as possible (shaving was tricky - I once had to run to a gas station and dry shave before a fight or be DQ'ed) to make things unpleasant for our opponents in the clinch. I wonder if football players do the same.
 

E5 Yaz

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has to be.

Probably referring to this play:

This was the play, I believe, where Miller then got up and grabbed his junk with one hand and pointed to the heavens with the other. Nantz and Simms both saw it and stopped talking for a beat before the director changed the live camera
 

ifmanis5

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This was the play, I believe, where Miller then got up and grabbed his junk with one hand and pointed to the heavens with the other. Nantz and Simms both saw it and stopped talking for a beat before the director changed the live camera
Yup, classy team. Have fun chasing Cam Newton in 2 weeks.
 

brandonchristensen

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It sucks that Brady couldn't end the rivalry on top, but watching Peyton throw for 80 yards in the Super Bowl will be great. His ducks are going to be picked off like crazy.

Maybe.

Probably not.
 

Norm Siebern

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Broncos are going to get blown out by Carolina. Why? Because the Broncos have already played their Super Bowl. Their minds should already be on the next game, but the Patriots are still in their heads. Miller's tweets reflect this.

Think this is what Patriot players would be tweeting if they had won Sunday? Not a chance, it would all be "on to Carolina." Denver wins? It is still all about the Patriots. That's how much the Patriots are in the heads of Denver. The Broncos are too satisfied with their victory, and will get blown out in less than two weeks. Book it.
 

E5 Yaz

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Broncos are going to get blown out by Carolina. Why? Because the Broncos have already played their Super Bowl. Their minds should already be on the next game, but the Patriots are still in their heads. Miller's tweets reflect this.

Think this is what Patriot players would be tweeting if they had won Sunday? Not a chance, it would all be "on to Carolina." Denver wins? It is still all about the Patriots. That's how much the Patriots are in the heads of Denver. The Broncos are too satisfied with their victory, and will get blown out in less than two weeks. Book it.
If the game were this weekend, I'd be more inclined to agree. But I think they get the Patriots stuff out of the way this week and once they hit Santa Clara, that will go away
 

mwonow

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Not a single post-game hat tip to Pey-Pey here? I'm as far from a Manning fan as people get, but hey, he threw for 2 TDs and (except for a lateral that's more on the RB than him) didn't turn the ball over.

He may not have *won* the game, but he sure didn't lose it. Credit where credit's due, I think...
 

johnmd20

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Not a single post-game hat tip to Pey-Pey here? I'm as far from a Manning fan as people get, but hey, he threw for 2 TDs and (except for a lateral that's more on the RB than him) didn't turn the ball over.

He may not have *won* the game, but he sure didn't lose it. Credit where credit's due, I think...
He did nothing all game, outside of the first drive. He didn't play particularly well, his stats were pretty lousy, he did turn the ball over b/c of the lateral, and the only reason the Pats had a chance was because Pey Pey did almost nothing in the second half. The defense won the game. I'm not giving him a hat tip.
 

54thMA

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He did nothing all game, outside of the first drive. He didn't play particularly well, his stats were pretty lousy, he did turn the ball over b/c of the lateral, and the only reason the Pats had a chance was because Pey Pey did almost nothing in the second half. The defense won the game. I'm not giving him a hat tip.
I have to give him credit for one thing; in the twilight of his career, he has become a game manager, he no longer has happy feet looking to make a play and then trying to make something happen out of nothing.

Case in point; Sunday, he took a couple of sacks, turtled and took his lumps instead of trying to force a pass and having it picked off.

I have no idea how he's going to do in the Super Bowl; IMO, it all comes down to how well or how poorly Newton plays. If he's poised, sharp, makes his throws, runs when has to and keeps things in check, Carolina will win. If he's nervous, makes bad throws, turns the ball over, then Denver has a shot. The ONLY chance Denver has is if they force a couple of turnovers and convert them to TD's, or if they get a special teams TD.

Personally, at this point, I could give two shits who wins or loses.
 

dcmissle

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Not a single post-game hat tip to Pey-Pey here? I'm as far from a Manning fan as people get, but hey, he threw for 2 TDs and (except for a lateral that's more on the RB than him) didn't turn the ball over.

He may not have *won* the game, but he sure didn't lose it. Credit where credit's due, I think...
Absolutely. He knows his limitations and lived within them. He plays in two weeks.

Tom did the things people were predicting for Peyton, so Tom will watch with the rest of us.

The shame of it is the Pats did not have to force the action like that, as things played out.

The Broncos main hope, and perhaps only hope, lies in Carolina getting sloppy with the football, Cam being too aggressive like Tom. I think you can count on Peyton playing his part, and if it's not good enough, it's not good enough.
 

bankshot1

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The Pats on Sunday were about as 1-dimensional as I can recall any recent vintage Pats team or any team competing for a championship. Having no run-game and no O-line, made the calculus a lot easier for Phillips to deal with.

The same equation does not exist with the Panthers. Peyton throwing for 145 yards will not work. I've rooted against the guy for the past 15 years, and that's not changing. I hope he gets crushed and longs for the good old days when he played the Seahawks in SB 48.
 

mwonow

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The Pats on Sunday were about as 1-dimensional as I can recall any recent vintage Pats team or any team competing for a championship. Having no run-game and no O-line, made the calculus a lot easier for Phillips to deal with.

The same equation does not exist with the Panthers. Peyton throwing for 145 yards will not work. I've rooted against the guy for the past 15 years, and that's not changing. I hope he gets crushed and longs for the good old days when he played the Seahawks in SB 48.
Any excuse to replay my most favourite Peyton moment:

http://giphy.com/gifs/bowl-broncos-manning-FWycPm2A1WP84

Edit - sorry, didn't embed
 

TheMoralBully

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Oct 10, 2005
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Peyton looked as limited as he has all season Sunday. Even with the NE offense laying an egg and Denver matching them in TOP, they managed 12 first downs for the entire game and cratered completely in the second half. He didn't manage not to lose, the Broncos offense very well could have lost the game for them by settling for 3 on numerous short fields and Manning missed Daniels and Sanders at least twice for easy TDs. Peyton was really ineffective and he has to remain their #1 concern against the Panthers.

The Broncos defensive talent and gameplan won the game for them, they were awesome. It was a masterful performance to hold up again and again because the Broncos offense couldn't execute. Credit to the NE defense of course, but imagine how apoplectic a Broncos fan would feel with their "game manager" if that two point conversion was successful.
 
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dcmissle

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“@RyanHannable: Von Miller: Tom Brady interception football ‘feels a little flat’ https://t.co/99qZ2MoFbb via @weei

OTOH, CJ Anderson:
I know a lot of people hate this man but man when he was pick 199 and was over look he inspired me I was undrafted and over came all the odds so bless what he told me at the end of this game. He said "CJ way to fight and prove everybody wrong you belong in this league and your one hell of a player I love the way you run keep climbing to be great" those words meant so much growing up watching Tom overcame I'm proud to say I'm 3-2 vs his teams and proud to say I get to battle him every year. Thanks Tom for telling me those words they will stick and I know a lot of people don't like you but I have MAD RESPECT. Thanks I see you overcome as others in this league and now it's my turn.
 
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That's a hell of an upstanding, heartfelt statement by Anderson.

Tom Brady as patron saint of the undrafted and overlooked... I guess if that's all we get from this year, I'll take it. I'd say David Ortiz was the equivalent in MLB, but Mike Piazza pretty much has that honorific wrapped up.
 

brandonchristensen

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That sounds super fake, but awesome if true.

(Edit)
To clarify, I know it's real. Just sounds like one of those stories someone tells and it's so over the top that it can't be real.
 

Norm Siebern

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That one is a keeper, but the PIC 6 in the 2010 Super Bowl vs the Saints is my all time favorite, a four star award winner.
Good choice. With this play you get the added bonus of Manning "attempting" a tackle to stop the TD runback, only to be brushed aside as an afterthought.
 

54thMA

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Congrats to Spike, a great SOSher on a well deserved win, but all the crap talk from the sore winners has me rooting for a Carolina blow out.
The whole sore winners concept is what makes this forum unique and causes it to rise above some of the other homer yahoo sites out there, where this sort of thing would not be tolerated, so good for the administrators/moderators for allowing it, very gracious of them.

That said; it is pretty annoying after a loss like the one on Sunday.