The New England Patriots will face off against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship this afternoon, their second matchup in three years for the conference title.
The Patriots are coming off 27-20 win against the Kansas City Chiefs at home last weekend. Boosted by the return of WR Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski, both of whom missed significant time due to injury this season, the Chiefs fourth quarter surge, led by QB Alex Smith, could not overcome the Patriot’s strong offensive performance in the first-half.
But the Broncos, undeniably, are one of the league’s most talented teams. After struggling to throw the ball while Peyton Manning was sidelined for several weeks due to a left-foot injury, they finished the regular season with a 12-4 record, defeating the Patriots 30-24 in late November.
The upcoming game will be Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s 10th conference championship game, and the Patriots’ fifth straight appearance in the AFC Championship Game. Last year, the Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts at home, winning in a 45-7 blowout. Two years ago, when these two teams met in the AFC title game, Denver’s defensive performance stifled Brady and Pats running game, leading to 16-26 loss at Gillette Stadium.
Today game will kickoff at 3:05pm, and be broadcasted on CBS and live online at CBS Sports.com.