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In The Red Zone: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Preview – AFC Championship Game

In The Red Zone

This Week

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

The New England Patriots visit the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO on Sunday January 19 at 3 p.m. in the AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots - The Broncos
Record 13-4 Overall Record 14-3
Road Record 4-4 Home Record 7-1
Playoff Teams 5-2 Playoff Teams 5-3
AFC 10-3 AFC 10-3

Tony Corrente is the referee for the game.

Honorary Captains are Willie McGinest (Patriots) and Rod Smith (Broncos).

The Line/Prediction

As of Thursday the line on the game from Sports Betting via Yahoo Sports has the Patriots at PLUS 6.  The over/under is 56.

My Prediction is Broncos 34, Patriots, 30.  Take the points (Patriots) and take the over.  I am 5-11 against the spread and 9 of 16 on calling the over/under in 2013.

Tickets

Broncos have sold out every home game since the 1970 season.  With regular season and postseason combined Denver has sold out 360 consecutive games.

Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster.  You can check the availability here.

After market tickets are available through the Official Patriots Ticket Exchange where season ticket holders can sell their unused seats to fans on the season ticket waiting list.

Getting to the Game

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Denver make sure you check out the links.

Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Denver CO.

Click for all the game day information including stadium directions, parking information and map and a Mile High Stadium seating chart.

Tailgating

Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgating.com.  There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack.  I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good. 

And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages.  With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks.  You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time.  Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver.  Remember drive sober or get pulled over.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Television

CBS is televising the game nationally Jim Nantz will do play by play while Phil Simms will provide the game analysis and Tracy Wolfson will work the sidelines.  You can look here for your local affiliate.

CBS is also streaming the game via your computer, laptop or tablet.  Cell phone streaming rights belong to Verizon.

There is no DirecTV designation.

Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules; flex scheduling and commercial breaks.

Radio

The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Bob Socci handles the play-by-play and former Patriots QB Scott Zolak will do game analysis. It all starts with Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh with the pregame show at 12 p.m. on the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.

The Patriots Radio Network game call is available on Sirius Channel 92, XM Channel 225 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.

The Broncos Radio Network has former Broncos players Dave Logan calling the play by play and Ed McCaffrey does the color via their flagship station 850 KOA AM and KRFX 103.5 FM. 

Their game call is available on Sirius Channel 86, XM Channel 86 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 809.

The game will be carried nationally by Westwood One with Kevin Harlan doing play by play, Dan Fouts provides the game analysis and Tim Ryan covers the sidelines.

Their game call is available on Sirius Channel 88, XM Channel 88 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 88.

Patriots All Access

Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team.  It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.

  • Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
  • Portland ME on WMTW Saturday at 5 a.m.
  • Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
  • Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.

You can also watch it anytime on the team website in the media section.

Last Week

Patriots beat the Colts at home in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game, 43-22.  Broncos beat the Chargers at home in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game, 24-17.

History

  • This is the 48th meeting between the two teams.
  • Denver leads the regular season series 25-19.
  • Broncos also hold the post season series lead, 2-1 for an overall record vs. New England of 27-20.
  • This is the fifth meeting since December 2011 and the Patriots have won all those previous games.
  • Patriots won the last meeting Week 12 in Foxboro when they staged the largest comeback in franchise history, 34-31 when Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal in OT.

Patriots Team Notes

New England PatriotsHere is the Patriots roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2013 Patriots Schedule/Results

The Patriots overall franchise record is 438-373-9.  They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances.  Overall they are 25-17 in the post season.

They last appeared in the playoffs in 2012 when they beat Houston in the AFC Divisional Round 41-28 and lost to Baltimore 28-13 in the AFC Championship Game.

They are 1-0 in the playoffs in 2013.

Patriots are 7-2 in the Conference Championship Game.  They are 3-1 as the road team.

Date               Opponent                  W/L    Score

01/12/86       at Miami                 W       31-14

01/12/97       Jacksonville             W       20-6

01/27/02       at Pittsburgh            W       24-17

01/18/04       Indianapolis             W       24-14

01/23/05       at Pittsburgh            W       41-27

01/21/07       at Indianapolis          L        34-38

01/20/08       San Diego               W       21-12

01/22/12       Baltimore                W       23-20

01/20/13       Baltimore                L        13-28

They have won the division 11 times and the conference 5 times since 2000.

The Patriots are the five time defending AFC East Champions (2009-13).

New England is first team to have earned 9 first round byes and first AFC team with 4 consecutive byes in the playoffs since this playoff format was established in 1990.

They are 6-9 as the road team in the playoffs.

Since 2000 the Patriots have a winning regular season record against all 31 teams in the NFL.  The Patriots are 6-5 vs. the Broncos in that time span.

Patriots have 5th best postseason winning percentage (.585) for teams with 15 or more games played.

New England is tied with the Oakland Raiders for the 5th most playoff wins in NFL history with 25.

New England is the only NFL team to finish .500 or better in each of the last 13 seasons.  Green Bay is 2nd with 5 seasons and then Cincinnati and San Francisco have 3 seasons in a row.

They have 11 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins.

They are the first team in the free agency era (1993) to win more than half their games in a 13-season span.

In 2013 the Patriots have played in 7 games decided by 3 points or less and are 6-1.

Since the 1970 merger the Patriots are 4th all time with 28 winning seasons behind Dallas and Miami (29 each) and Pittsburgh (31).

New England was 3-0 against common opponents with Denver in 2013 (Baltimore, Indianapolis and Houston) including playoffs.

In Patriots first two wins under Bill Belichick at Denver (10/1/00 and 11/3/03), he took intentional safeties in the second half to help secure the win.

Patriots are 9-18 in Denver all-time including 0-2 in the post season.

Patriots and the 49ers are first teams since 2001-04 Eagles to advance to three consecutive conference championship games.

Patriots led the AFC in rushing TD’s in 2013 with 19 that was tied for 2nd in the NFL.

They were second in NFL in fewest penalties (69) and 3rd in fewest penalty yards (625).

Their 444 points was third highest in NFL in 2013 and 5th highest in franchise history.

New England was PLUS 9 in turnover differential good for 8th in the NFL.  They had 17 INT’s and recovered 12 fumbles while they threw 11 INT’s and lost 9 fumbles.

In the playoffs the Patriots are PLUS 4 in turnover differential.  They have 4 INT’s and 0 fumble recoveries while they have thrown 0 INT’s and lost 0 fumbles.

The Patriots were 3rd in points scored averaging 27.8 points per game and 10th in fewest points allowed with 21.1 points per game.

This is the 20th season of Patriots ownership by the Kraft family.  Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:

  • Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
  • Have the most regular season wins, 217.
  • Have the most wins including playoffs, 238.
  • Have the most conference titles, 6.
  • Have the most division titles, 13.
  • Have the most playoff wins, 21
  • Have played the most playoff games, 32.
  • Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 15.
  • The fewest head coaches within the division, 3.
  • Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.

From 1960 to 1993 the New England/Boston Patriots won a total of 225 games.

The Patriots have 7 players who have never played in the postseason. 

Patriots Staff Notes

This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Denver Broncos.

Bill Belichick is 7-10 vs. the Broncos overall in his career.  He is 7-6 as the head coach in New England including 1-1 in the playoffs.

Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 199-105 in his 19th NFL season as a head coach.  He is 163-61 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland.  He is 19-8 in the playoffs, 18-7 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season.  When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 218-113.

Belichick’s 19 postseason wins tie him for 2nd all-time with Don Shula (19) and he is one away from career leader Tom Landry (20).

He has won 5 conference titles; he needs one more to tied Don Shula’s record of 6.

Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three Super Bowls, joining Chuck Noll (4), Joe Gibbs (3) and Bill Walsh (3).  Those men are all in the Hall of Fame.

He is the only coach in NFL history to win three championship titles in four seasons.

No coach either as the head coach or an assistant has appeared in more Super Bowls than Belichick who has been to 8 (five as a head coach).

Belichick spent one season in Denver as an assistant special teams coach in 1978 under Red Miller.

Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels was the Broncos head coach in 2009 and 2010 and compiled an 11-17 record.

Special Teams Coach Scott O’Brien was the Denver Special Teams Coordinator in 2007 and 2008.

Patriots Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Solder
  • LG: Mankins
  • C: Wendell
  • RG: Connolly
  • RT: Cannon
  • TE: Hoomanawanui
  • WR: Edelman
  • WR: Amendola
  • QB: Brady
  • RB: Blount
  • FB: Develin

Defense:

  • DE: Ninkovich
  • DT: Siliga
  • DT: Chr. Jones
  • DE: Cha. Jones
  • LB: Collins
  • LB: Fletcher
  • LB: Hightower
  • LCB: Dennard
  • RCB: Talib
  • S: Gregory
  • S: Harmon

Patriots Players Notes

Tom Brady Notes:

  • This is his 14th NFL season he is 5-6 vs. the Broncos in his career including 1-1 in the playoffs. He is 65-30 on the road in his career and 3-2 on the road in the playoffs for an overall road record of 68-32.
  • Denver is the only team Brady has a losing record against.
  • Is making his 26th career playoff start most in NFL history for a quarterback.
  • This is Brady’s 7th game in Denver in his career.  He is 2-4 vs. Broncos on the road with 11 TD’s and 7 INT’s.  He is 131 for 222 a 59% completion rate and is 1-3 in Mile High during the day.
  • Overall he is 148-43 as a starting QB and is 18-7 in the playoffs for an overall record of 166-50.  He is a 9 time Pro Bowl QB; 3 time All-Pro selection; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP.
  • Has 7 comeback wins in the post season including three in Super Bowls.  Two of those Super Bowl comebacks were completed with 1:21 or less left on the clock.
  • His 18 post season wins are the most by any quarterback.
  • His three Super Bowl wins ties him with Troy Aikman for second behind Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana who have four each.
  • Along with Bart Starr, Eli Manning and Bradshaw, his two Super Bowl MVP awards are second only to Joe Montana who has three.
  • Is tied for the second most 300-yard games in the postseason with Kurt Warner and Montana with 6. Peyton Manning has the most, 8.
  • All-time NFL leader in post season completions (566) and passing yards (6,147).
  • Third all-time in post season TD passes (42) behind Brett Favre (44) and Montana (45).
  • Shares the record for most TD passes in a playoff game (6) with Steve Young and Daryle Lamonica.

Danny Amendola notes:

  • Will play in his third career playoff game, second as a Patriot.
  • In 2 career games vs. Denver has 7 catches for 58 yards.
  • Had his first post season receptions vs. Indianapolis in AFC Division game with 3 catches for 77-yards.
  • Finished season with 54 catches for 633 yards and 2 TD’s.
  • Set career high for yards per catch (11.7) and longest catch (57-yards).
  • Has 3 100-yard games as a Patriot at Miami Week 15, vs. Pittsburgh in Week 9 and in Week 1 at Buffalo.
  • Missed 4 games in 2014 due to injuries (groin, 3 and concussion, 1).

Julian Edelman notes:

  • Will play in his 7th playoff game.  Missed the post season last year due to a foot injury that put him on IR after Week 12.
  • Has 14 career catches vs. Denver for 143 yards and 2 TD’s in 4 games including playoffs.
  • Led team with 6 catches for 84-yards vs. Indianapolis in AFC Division game.
  • Had his first 100-catch, 1000-yard season in his career and just the third Patriot behind Troy Brown and Wes Welker.
  • His previous career high was 37 receptions for 357 yards in 2009.
  • Has 4 of his 5 career 100-yard games this year, at Miami Week 15, at Houston Week 13, Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 4 at Atlanta.
  • Set career high with 13 catches and 139-yards at Miami Week 15.
  • Lead the team with 105 catches for 1,056 yards. He also had 6 TD catches.  He had just 21 catches in 2012. 
  • He was 5th in NFL in catches for 2013.
  • Had 9 games with 7 or more catches in 2013.
  • Has never thrown a pass in the NFL he was a QB at Kent State.

Stevan Ridley notes:

  • Will play in his 5th career playoff game.
  • In four career games including playoffs vs. Denver he has 47 carries for 241 yards and 1 TD.
  • Had 52 yards and 2 TD runs vs. Indianapolis in AFC Division game.
  • Had his 5th 2-TD game of his career against Colts in AFC Division game.
  • Second season in a row with 4 fumbles
  • Leads the team with 773 rushing yards in 14 games
  • Has 14 runs of 20 or more yards in his career most for franchise since 2000.

Shane Vereen notes:

  • Will play in his 4th career playoff game.
  • In 2 career games vs. Denver he has 32 yards on 11 carries with 1 TD also has 8 catches for 60 yards.
  • Set franchise record with receptions (12) and receiving yards (153) by a running back in a single-game Week 14 vs. Cleveland.
  • Became just fourth NFL running back to post 150 receiving yards in a single-game in the last 10 seasons.
  • Finished with 47 catches for 417 yards and 3 TD’s and 205 yards rushing with 1 TD.

LeGarrette Blount notes:     

  • Will play in his 2nd career playoff game.
  • Has played in 1 game vs. Denver has 2 carries for 13 yards.
  • Set franchise record for most rushing TD’s in a game with 4 vs. Indianapolis in AFC Division game.
  • Tied franchise record with 166-yards rushing in a playoff game.
  • Became first NFL running back to have over 125-yards rushing and 4 TD’s in a playoff game.
  • Was AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 17.
  • Had first 2 TD game as a Patriot week 16 at Baltimore.  It was the third of his career.    
  • Set franchise record with 334 total yards Week 17 vs. Buffalo (189 rushing; 145 KOR)
  • Set career high with 189 rushing yards Week 17 vs. Buffalo. Previous high was 164 vs. Seattle Week 15 in 2010 while with Tampa Bay.
  • Lead team in TD’s with 7 (career high) with Stevan Ridley.
  • Second in rushing yards with 772, one yard behind Ridley.

Stephen Gostkowski notes:

  • Will play in his 14th career playoff game.
  • Needs two more postseason field goals to become 11th player with 20 or more.
  • Needs 5 more postseason points to become 7th player ever with 100 or more.
  • Has not missed an extra point since Week 17 2006 at Tennessee in his rookie season.  He has made 360 consecutive extra points.  He is 399 for 400 in his career for 99.8%.
  • The 360 XPA converted in a row is fourth longest streak in NFL history.
  • He is also 41 for 41 in extra points in the post season.
  • Lead NFL in scoring with 158 points.
  • Set franchise record for points in a season and field goals made (38) tied franchise record for field goal attempts (41).
  • He is the most accurate kicker by percentage in team history at 86.3% (208 0f 241).
  • Has scored at least 1 point in 108 consecutive games a franchise record.
  • He is 3rd in team history in points with 1,028 trailing only Gino Cappelletti (1,130) and Adam Vinatieri (1,158).
  • Has team record of 12 career field goals of 50+ yards.
  • Has made 16 field goals of 40 or more yards in 2013, a franchise record.
  • Has three game winning field goals in 2013 Week 1 at Buffalo, Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 13 at Houston he now has 4 regular season game winners in his career.
  • The 54-yard field goal against New Orleans set a new career long.

Rob Ninkovich notes:

  • Will play in his 8th career playoff game.
  • In 5 seasons with New England has only missed one game.
  • Has 12 fumble recoveries since 2010 the most in the NFL in that span.
  • Lead the team with 2 fumble recoveries.
  • Tied for 2nd on team in sacks with 8 and QB hits with 18.
  • Had back to back 8 sack seasons.
  • Had sacks in three consecutive games vs. Miami, vs. Pittsburgh and at Carolina.

Jamie Collins notes:

  • Will play in his 2nd NFL playoff game.
  • Had 6 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackle for loss, 3 QB hits, 1 INT and 1 pass defensed in his first NFL playoff game vs. Indianapolis in the AFC Division game.

Dont'a Hightower notes:

  • Will play in his 4th career playoff game.
  • Had 8 tackles, 1 INT and 1 pass defensed vs. Indianapolis in the AFC Division game.

Joe Vellano notes:

  • Will play in his 2nd playoff game.
  • Had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB hit in his first NFL playoff game vs. Indianapolis in the AFC Division game.
  • Rookie made his first NFL start Week 5 at Cincinnati.
  • Had 49 tackles (28 solo), 2 sacks, 4 QB hits, 1 pass defensed and 1 fumble recovery as a rookie.

Chris Jones notes:

  • Will play in his 2nd playoff game.
  • Had 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB hit in his first NFL playoff game vs. Indianapolis in the AFC Division game.
  • Had 56 tackles, 6 sacks and 8 QB hits as a rookie.
  • Was second in NFL for sacks by a rookie.
  • Made first NFL start Week 6 vs. New Orleans and had 3 tackles.
  • Has three games with multiple sacks in 2013.

Chandler Jones notes:

  • Will play in his 4th career playoff game.
  • Scored his first NFL TD Week 16 at Baltimore on a fumble recovery.
  • Leads the team in sacks with 11.5 and QB hits with 21.
  • Was 7th in sacks in NFL and had 4th highest total in franchise history.
  • First player since Chris Slade to start career with two 5+ sack seasons.
  • Blocked his first NFL field goal attempt Week 8 vs. Miami.

Logan Ryan notes:

  • Will play in his 2nd NFL playoff game.
  • Had 4 tackles in his first NFL playoff game vs. Indianapolis in the AFC Division game.
  • Had his first NFL 2 INT game week 16 at Baltimore.
  • Led NFL rookies, the team and the AFC with 5 INT’s. Was 3rd overall in NFL.
  • Had his first NFL INT at New York in Week 7 and returned it 79-yards for a touchdown.  He was the 11th Patriots player to return his first INT for a TD.
  • Forced a fumble on his first NFL sack Week 8 vs. Miami.

Aqib Talib notes:

  • Will play in his 4th career playoff game.
  • Had 4 tackles vs. Indianapolis in the AFC Division game.
  • Named to his first Pro Bowl team.
  • Lead the team with 13 passes defensed.
  • Second in INT’s with 4.
  • Had career high 4 passes defensed Week 4 at Atlanta including one in end zone to seal the win.

Sealver Siliga notes:

  • Will play in his 2nd NFL playoff game.
  • Had 3 tackles and 1 QB hit in his first NFL playoff game vs. Indianapolis in the AFC Division game.
  • Had 9 tackles (career high), 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 QB hit Week 17 vs. Buffalo.
  • Had his first NFL sack at Miami in Week 15.
  • Had 3 sacks and 3 QB hits as a rookie.

Kyle Arrington notes:

  • Will play in his 9th career playoff game.
  • Had first two sacks of his NFL career at Miami in Week 15 and at Baltimore Week 16.
  • Recovered the onside kick Week 14 vs. Cleveland.  Was first Patriots since 1994 (AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Cleveland) to recover an onside kick.
  • 2nd on team in passes defensed with 11.
  • Forced two fumbles Week 1 at Buffalo.

There are only two players on the team who played on at least one of the Super Bowl championship teams, Brady (3) and Wilfork (on IR) (1).

Roster moves this week:

  • none

Patriots named to Pro Bowl for 2013 season:

Patriots team captains for 2013:

  • QB Tom Brady
  • G Logan Mankins
  • S Devin McCourty
  • DE Rob Ninkovich
  • WR Matthew Slater (special teams)
  • DT Vince Wilfork (IR)
  • LB Jerod Mayo (IR)

Former Broncos on the Patriots:

  • DT Sealver Siliga

Players with New England roots:

Players with Colorado roots:

Players from New England based colleges and universities:

Players from Colorado based colleges and universities:

  • T Nate Solder – Colorado

The Patriots have 6 retired numbers:

  • 20 – Gino Cappelletti
  • 40 – Mike Haynes
  • 73 – John Hannah
  • 78 – Bruce Armstrong
  • 79 – Jim Lee Hunt
  • 89 – Bob Dee

Broncos Team Notes

Denver BroncosHere is the Broncos roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2013 Broncos Schedule/Results

The Broncos all-time record is 432-378-10 and they are 19-17 in the playoffs with their last playoff appearance coming in 2012.  That season the Broncos lost at home to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Division game. 

Denver has won two Super Bowls (XXXII and XXXIII) in 6 appearances.

The Broncos last appeared in a Super Bowl following the 1998 season and beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34-19.

The Broncos are 1-0 in the 2013 NFL Playoffs after beating the San Diego Chargers at home last Sunday, 24-17.

Denver has 13 AFC West Division titles one more than Oakland.

Broncos have a 14-4 record at home in the playoffs all-time.

Broncos are 6-2 in the AFC Championship Game.  They are 4-1 as the home team.

Date               Opponent                  W/L    Score

01/01/78       Oakland                  W       20-17

01/11/87       @ Cleveland             W       23-20 (OT)

01/17/88       Cleveland                W       38-33

01/14/90       Cleveland                W       37-21

01/12/92       @ Buffalo                L        7-10

01/11/98       @ Pittsburgh            W       24-21

01/17/99       NY Jets                   W       23-10

01/22/06       Pittsburgh                L        17-34

Broncos are 18-9 as the home team in the series including the playoffs.

Their six Super Bowl appearances are only behind New England (7), Dallas (8) and Pittsburgh (8).

Since 1984 the Broncos are 3rd in overall wins in the NFL with 306 behind New England (308) and San Francisco (319).

Since 1984 Denver has the most seasons at .500 or better with 25.

One of just three franchises to record 90+ wins in three decades since 1960 and only one to do it in last three decades.

Denver has not been shutout since 1992 a streak that has gone 335 games.

Allowed only 20 sacks this season a league low including 6 games in which they didn’t give up a sack at all.

Denver was EVEN in turnover differential tied for 14th in the NFL.  They had 17 INT and recovered 9 fumbles while they threw 10 INT’s and lost 16 fumbles.

In the postseason Denver is MINUS 2 in turnover differential.  They have 0 INT and have recovered 0 fumbles while they have thrown 1 INT and lost 1 fumble.

The Broncos were 1st in points scored averaging 37.9 points per game and were 22nd in fewest points allowed with 24.9 points per game.

Denver had 3 games in 2013 in which they topped 50 points.

Broncos Staff Notes

Read what Denver Broncos head coach John Fox had to say to the New England media about the match up.

This is Fox’s third season as the head coach in Denver he is 34-14 in the regular season and 2-2 in the playoffs for an overall record of 36-16. Prior to that Fox was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers for 9 seasons and had a record of 73-71 in the regular season and 8-5 in the playoffs.  Combined between Denver and Carolina he is 107-85 in the regular season and 10-7 in the playoffs for an overall mark of 117-92.

Fox is 1-6 vs. New England as a head coach including 0-2 in the post season combined between Denver and Carolina.

His 114 career wins are 5th among active head coaches.

Fox missed several games midseason due to health reasons and was replaced by defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.  Fox missed the Week 12 games vs. the Patriots at Foxboro.

Fox is already 4th all-time in wins for Denver (36) he trails Red Miller (42), Dan Reeves (117) and Mike Shanahan (146).

Just 5th head coach in NFL history to win division titles in his first three seasons with a team.  Norv Turner (3 – San Diego), Barry Switzer (3 – Dallas), Ted Marchibroda (3 – Baltimore) and Chuck Knox (5 – Los Angeles) are the others.

Pat Bowlen is in his 30th year of team ownership and along with New York Giants founder Tim Mara as the only three-decade principal owners in professional football history to post a 60-percent career winning percentage.

Under Bowlen’s ownership the Broncos have won their two Super Bowls and have been to the big game four times.

Director of Player Personnel Matt Russell served as a pro scout for the Patriots from 2000-01 and an area scout from 2003-2005, winning three Super Bowls during his time in New England in 2001, 2003 and 2004.

Defensive Backs coach Cory Undin was a Patriots defensive assistant in 2004.

Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu is a native of Taunton MA and attended Taunton High School before graduating from Springfield College, where he was a four-year starter as a defensive tackle on the football team. Magazu also served as the offensive line coach at Boston College from 1999-2002.

Broncos Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Clark
  • LG: Beadles
  • C: Ramirez
  • RG: Vasquez
  • RT: Franklin
  • TE: J. Thomas
  • WR: D. Thomas
  • WR: Decker
  • WR: Welker
  • QB: P. Manning
  • RB: Moreno

Defense:

  • DE: Jackson
  • DT: Williams
  • DT: Knighton
  • DE: Phillips
  • LB: Irving
  • LB: Lenon
  • LB: Trevathan
  • LCB: Jammer
  • RCB: Rodgers-Cromartie
  • S: Adams
  • S: Ihenacho

Broncos Players Notes

Peyton Manning notes:

  • Was first overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 1998 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. He is a 13 time Pro Bowl selection and has been named to 7 All-Pro teams. Manning is a 4 time NFL MVP and has won one Super Bowl MVP Award.
  • In his career he is 7-14 vs. New England including 1-2 in the playoffs.
  • Against the Patriots in three playoff games Manning is 77 for 136 for 824 yards with 2 TD’s and 6 INT’s.  His passer ratings in those three games were 35.5 (loss), 69.3 (loss) and 79.1 (win).
  • In 14 years in Indianapolis was 141-67 in the regular season and 9-10 in the post season for an overall record of 150-77.
  • In his second season in Denver he is 26-6 and 1-1 in the post season for an overall record of 27-7.
  • For his career he is 167-73 in the regular season and 10-11 in the post season for an overall record of 177-84.  He has won one Super Bowl (XLI) in two appearances.
  • He is 90-30 at home in his career in the regular season and he is 7-5 at home in the playoffs.
  • His 167 wins are second all-time behind only Brett Favre.
  • Wears number 18 after Frank Tripucka made the gesture to let him wear the retired number.
  • Son of former NFL QB Archie Manning and brother of New York Giants QB Eli Manning.
  • In NFL History he is 2nd in passes completed, passing yards, passing TD’s and passer rating.  He is 3rd in passes attempted and passing yards per game.  He is first in comebacks and game winning drives.
  • Along with Brady and Hall of Famer Joe Montana are considered the Holy Trinity among NFL quarterbacks.
  • After starting every game of his NFL career he missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury.
  • Set NFL record with 55 TD passes this season and 5,477 passing yards.
  • Had only 10 INT’s that is the second fewest in a season in his career.
  • Had 7 TD pass game Week 1 vs. Baltimore.
  • Twice this season has had back-to-back 4 TD pass games.  Week 4 vs. Philadelphia, Week 5 at Dallas, Week 8 vs. Washington and Week 9 at San Diego.
  • Had 3 INT game Week 8 vs. Washington.

Wes Welker notes:

  • Played six seasons in New England (2007-12).
  • In 7 career games vs. Patriots he has 18 catches for 196 yards and 0 INT’s.
  • Had 778 receiving yards in his first season in Denver.
  • Has 9 TD’s just one shy of his career high set in 2011.
  • Has 829 career catches and trails only former Bronco Rod Smith (849) for most catches in NFL history by an undrafted player.
  • Only player in NFL History with 5 100-catch seasons.
  • In his 6 years in New England had the most prolific 6-year period for any NFL receiver with 672 regular season catches.
  • Patriots all-time receptions leader with 725 catches.
  • Made five Pro Bowls as a Patriot.
  • Is 7th in NFL history for most postseason catches with 75.
  • His 841 career receptions are second only to Rod Smith (849) for most receptions by an undrafted player in NFL history.

Knowshon Moreno notes:

  • 6th in Broncos history in rushing yards with 3,468.
  • In 2 career games vs. Patriots he has 58 carries for 312 yards and 1 TD and 5 catches for 42 yards.
  • Rushed for a career high 224 yards at New England in Week 12.
  • Led team in rushing yards with 1,038.
  • First Bronco with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season.
  • Had 10 TD’s in 2013 4th most in NFL.

Eric Decker notes:

  • In 3 games vs. Patriots has 6 catches for 48 yards and 1 TD.
  • Has 33 TD’s in first four seasons most in franchise history by a player in first 4 years.
  • One of three players in franchise history with 8 TD’s in back-to-back seasons.
  • Had 1,288 receiving yards in 2013.

Demaryius Thomas notes:

  • Has 26 catches for 430 yards and 1 TD vs. Patriots in 4 games including playoffs.
  • Was 2nd in NFL with 14 TD catches and 4th with 1,430 receiving yards.
  • Had back-to-back 1,000 receiving yard seasons.

Danny Trevathan notes:

  • Led team in tackles with 124 in 2013.
  • Had 12 tackles, 1 fumble recovery and a special teams tackle at New England Week 12.

Champ Bailey notes:

  • Has 52 interceptions in his career.  With 34 as a Bronco needs 1 more to be 4th on Denver’s all-time INT list.
  • 12 Pro Bowls are most ever by a defensive back and 6th most all-time.

Wesley Woodyard notes:

  • Just 12th player since 1982 to post a 100 tackle, 5 sacks and 3 INT season.
  • Had 83 tackles in 2013.
  • Had 15 tackles and a forced fumble at New England Week 12.

Broncos All-Pro’s for 2013:

Broncos selected to the Pro Bowl:

  • QB Peyton Manning
  • K Matt Prater
  • WR Demaryius Thomas
  • G Louis Vasquez
  • TE Julius Thomas

Former Patriots on the Broncos:

Players with New England ties:

Players who attended New England based colleges or universities:

  • C Dan Koppen (IR) – Boston College

Denver team captains for 2013 are:

Denver has 3 retired numbers:

  • 7 – John Elway
  • 18 – Frank Tripucka
  • 44 – Floyd Little

Next Week

Super Bowl XLVIIIUp next: With a win will face either San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks

Location: MetLife Stadium, Meadowlands NJ

Date/Time: Sunday February 2 at 6 p.m.

TV Network: FOX

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