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BOSTON (CBS) – The CBS Boston sports team makes their predictions for the New England Patriots divisional playoff against the Denver Broncos.
Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub
In the game of the week, Tim Tebow (not the Denver Broncos) heads to New England to take on the Patriots.
The big additions of Brandon Spikes and Patrick Chung to the New England defense, something they didn’t have back in Week 15, will be big. Granted the Pats did beat the Broncos by 18, and it was really this defense that figured out how to stop that option. You hit the QB first, not that pitch man. What’s going to be interesting is seeing what that next layer on defense is.
Whiteboard: The Denver Option
And let’s not forget Josh McDaniels is back in New England. Not that Denver is still running the same offense, so that doesn’t matter, but he drafted Tebow and Demaryius Thomas and can help the Pats game plan with his familiarity with the two.
Pats win it 34-13
Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Patriots win this game 37-13. I think they get up early and it takes the Broncos out of their game plan.
Here though is one thing to watch: if the Patriots lose the toss and the Broncos decide to take the ball, if they score first it’s going to give the Broncos a stay of execution because eventually the Patriots go down and tie it at seven. Then you’re in a scoreless game and who knows how much time is left in the first quarter, so if the Patriots can get that early stop, get that early score and then get up on them the flood gates should open.
I think in the fourth quarter, a young Denver team ends up wetting their pants.
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
They say its win or go home time, well, the Patriots aren’t going home yet this year. They know what’s at stake, and They’re a confident football team. But not to the point of arrogance.
They will not make the same mistakes Pittsburgh made and take Denver for granted. Bill Belichick has the utmost respect for Tim Tebow, both running and throwing, which means there will be somebody in the middle of the field on D.
It would be nice to see the Patriots actually start with the ball and score right away. But if you stick with tradition, that hasn’t been Belichick’s way this season. Even if the Pats win the coin toss, they seem to always elect to defer and get the ball to start the second half. And who can argue with success, because they finished 13-3.
I do expect Denver to make adjustments. After all, they lost by 18 points to the Patriots at their place.
Tebow scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground that game, and it’s in the red zone that he is extremely dangerous. If you’re going to tackle him, you have to hit him low. He’s not as big as Big Ben, but he is stronger. Wrap it up, and bring him down.
The key for the offense, as it always is, keep Brady upright. Protect him at all costs. the reason they’ve lost the last three postseason games is because Brady has been looking
And wouldn’t it be nice if Ochocinco tricked us the entire season, and now he is their secret weapon for the playoffs.
Bottom line, the Patriots should be moving on. Pats win 28-17.
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
We will see one of two things when the Patriots host the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Either the Tim Tebow 3:16 miracle keeps on working or the Patriots win their first playoff game since the 2007 AFC Championship.
I like the Patriots.
Tom Brady will be motivated after his team came up short last year against the Jets in this same situation. I also think his defense is better prepared than they were a year ago.
Denver will try to run the ball with Tim Tebow at the helm. It’s an option-type look that the Pats got a first-hand look at last month in Denver. It took the Pats the first quarter to adjust to it as they allowed 176 yards on the ground in the first quarter and then held the Broncos at bay. Meanwhile, a team that saw the Tebow-look twice was Kansas City and in that second game the Chiefs (and Romeo Crennel) allowed just 3 points. Health is big for the Pats D as well as both Patrick Chung and Brandon Spikes will return from injuries for this game.
As for the Pats offense, they put up 41 points in the first meeting and Denver doesn’t seem to be much different. Aaron Hernandez was a stud in the first meeting (9 rec 129 yds TD), but the luxury Brady has is that it can be Gronkowski or Welker or Branch. He has all kinds of options.
I am a Tim Tebow fan; I like the way he plays. However, I think his run is over for this season.
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
Despite everything the Patriots are saying and the details they are paying to when it comes to the Broncos, the Pats are a better team and they should win this game going away. New England had a tough time with Denver initially, when the two first played and then they made adjustments to the game plan.
This time around they have a better feel and are more equipped for what can happen. Plus, I just get the feeling that the Pats have something to prove. They haven’t won a playoff game since the Giants Superbowl game. Regular season, they have had success but the recent post season has been lacking.
Pats win 31 to 14
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
The Patriots will beat the Denver Broncos in Saturday night’s AFC Divisional game in Foxboro. Not because some supreme deity prefers Duxbury Oysters to Rocky Mountain Oysters (which the Boston Herald had a recipe for in Wednesday’s food section. It is the only time I have seen “wash testicles” as a step in a recipe. But I digress).
The Patriots won’t win because the organization gave Tim Tebow’s family tickets in section 666 (that’s a joke).
The Patriots won’t win because the game is in Foxboro (although that doesn’t hurt).
The Patriots will win because they are the better team at keeping the opposition from doing what it likes to do best. Denver won’t be able to stop what the Patriots do best which is put points on the board.
I can hear you now; Denver likes to run and the Broncos ran wild on the Patriots in Denver, gaining 167 yards in the first quarter and 252 for the day. All true. However, after that first quarter when the Patriots switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3, the Broncos ground game was extremely pedestrian.
If the Patriots defense gives up 24 points or less, New England wins the game. It’s that simple. The Patriots offensive line must keep Tom Brady upright and he will do what he does when that happens: dissect the defense.
I see a close game at the start but by game’s end, the Patriots by three touchdowns.
Tune in to the Patriots-Broncos playoff game Saturday night at 8pm on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Pregame coverage begins Saturday at 5pm with Patriots Preview on 98.5, with a special edition of Patriots GameDay on WBZ-TV at 7pm. After the game, stay tuned for Patriots Postgame on The Hub, and Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV.