BOSTON (CBS) – Albert Breer of the NFL Network doesn’t think either AFC Championship team will have a problem moving the football against one another on Sunday afternoon, but it’ll be the team that can turn their redzone opportunities into touchdowns – rather than field goals – that will be the victor.
“I think this game, in a lot of ways, is going to be won in the red zone – forcing the other team to score three instead of seven. I think both teams are going to be able to move the ball between the 20-yard-lines – who can punch it in when they’re down low?” said Breer Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak program.
Continuing with that line of reasoning, Breer believes the Patriots should blanket Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas with cornerback Aqib Talib between the 20-yard-lines, and when Denver has the ball in the redzone put Talib on tight end Julius Thomas, whom he called “Peyton’s favorite red zone target.”
How the Patriots defend the Broncos, and whether or not they win, will largely be predicated on the gameplan devised by Bill Belichick and his staff.
The major storyline heading into Sunday will be Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, but according to Bert Breer, you could argue maybe it’s more about Bill Belichick vs. Peyton Manning.
“To some degree, you could say that if Bill Belichick wasn’t standing in Peyton Manning’s way he’d probably have another ring or two. It’s direct competition, it’s not one guy running an offense and another guy running an offense.”
Listen below for the full discussion: