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Posts Tagged ‘ Denver Broncos ’

NFL: Colts Stun Broncos In Divisional Round

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The NFL’s divisional round is arguably the greatest weekend in all of sports on an annual basis. The eight teams left standing by this point are undoubtedly the best the NFL has to offer, and they played out four fantastic encounters over this past weekend. Eight became four after some tremendous clashes that simply whizzed by and, before we begin hyping Championship weekend, we should take some time to review all the action from another classic divisional round in the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (31-35)

The New England Patriots had to dig deep into their bag of tricks to pull out the win here, being given a wild ride by the wild card team. The Patriots ran for the grand total of 14 yards on Saturday, as the dominant defensive front refused to give them any ground. Tom Brady was then forced into fifty passing attempts, completing 33 of those for 367 yards and three touchdowns, but also a costly (if inevitable, given the number of throws) pick that led to a touchdown drive to swing momentum away from New England. The Pats were down 14 points on two separate occasions, but were able to exploit a weak secondary to come out with the win, albeit via a Julian Edelman touchdown pass and some interesting offensive line formations with players declaring themselves ineligible at the last second, which caused infinite confusion for the defense. The Patriots were able to exploit the middle for huge gains, with Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola, the forgotten man in this offense who caught Edelman’s touchdown pass, making huge gains. Every yard was needed, as the defense gave up their most points since the blowout to the Kansas City Chiefs in week four. Still, they advance onto the AFC Championship game with home field advantage, and must be feeling pretty good now. Continue reading

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NFL: Packers And Cowboys Square Off In Exciting Divisional Round

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We have arrived at the divisional round of the playoffs, with the final four in each division playing for a chance to advance to the conference decider. The four best teams in the NFL return to the fray this weekend, having had bye weeks for the wild card round. We can expect the standard of football to go through the roof this weekend then, with the Super Bowl hovering in the background. This is the time of year when the best players come to the fore when they are most needed.  Let’s look ahead to a mouth-watering weekend in the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

The New England Patriots ascended to the comfortable surroundings atop the AFC Conference, ensuring them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Bill Belichick’s team are one of the most formidable home sides in all of football, going 7-1 at Foxboro this season, with the only loss coming in week seventeen against the Buffalo Bills when top seeding had already been guaranteed. The Patriots underwent some early season struggles as the offensive line was unsettled and Rob Gronkowski was hurt, but since a mauling by the Kansas City Chiefs in week four, Tom Brady has led his team to a 10-2 record. With the protection now settled and steady and Gronkowski re-establishing himself as one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL, the Patriots have become a completely different beast. For the first time in a number of years, Brady is backed by a stellar defense, which could be the difference maker if they are to return to the Super Bowl. With Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jamie Collins and Darrell Revis all making significant contributions, the Patriots can stake a claim to being the most balanced team in either conference. That pass protection will be tested this weekend, and an ability to run the ball early could make the Patriots difficult to topple. Continue reading

NFL: Broncos Falter As Patriots And Seahawks Seek Top Seeds

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Week sixteen of the NFL regular season is now behind us, and we have a good idea of how the playoffs are shaping up. Many of the floundering hopefuls and wannabes have been put out of the race now, failing to last pace with the true contenders. This was a weekend of big moves for many, with several clinching playoff berths over the weekend. Big plays and big stops were in abundant supply with seasons on the line, and there is plenty to look back fondly on. Let’s review the action here.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (35-6)

A top-of-the-table clash between NFC West powerhouses that will both be playing post-season football descended into a blowout quite early on here. The Seattle Seahawks had a dominant road win here, claiming the top seeding in the NFC conference standings in the process. The Seahawks were taking on a team ravaged by injuries, but to hold a playoff side to six points on their home turf is a phenomenal effort. The Legion of Boom is back in full force, but the offense was equally as impressive, with Marshawn Lynch running all over a top run defense, while Russell Wilson knitted offensive series’ together with some fine play from under center. Luke Willson emerged as a big target at tight end, gaining 139 yards and two touchdowns to effectively end the game. With Paul Richardson and Doug Baldwin making big plays too, the offense is getting coherent. If the Seahawks beat the St Louis Rams in the season finale, they will claim the NFC’s top seed. It seems a long time ago now that Seattle appeared to be in mid-season crisis mode. Continue reading

NFL: Crucial Penultimate Fixtures For Playoff Chasers

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We have reached the penultimate round of fixtures in the NFL season. This has been a season of big winners and bad losers, with few sides hovering around 7-7 mark. That will ensure some teams will miss the post-season, despite boasting significant winning records and great seasons. With five divisions left to be decided, as well as all four wild-card spots still up for grabs, the onus is on all contenders to win out and make sure they aren’t the most pitied team in football. Let’s look ahead to the week sixteen action.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals still take up top spot in the NFC West, despite the unfathomable number of star players of theirs who have gone down injured. The expectation is that, surely, this Cardinals team’s indefatigable spirit will finally be overcome now that even backup quarterback Drew Stanton is out. With Ryan Lindley not exactly a sure-fire winner, and a ferocious defense licking their lips waiting to face him, the Cardinals are expected to bow gracefully out of the top spot and settle for their wild-card place. But that is not the style of Bruce Arians’ side. Sure, there 12-6 win over the St Louis Rams wasn’t pretty, but they ground out the win. Todd Bowles’ defense keeps generating success on the blitz, and they have found a breakout running back in Kerwynn Williams, who has added 175 yards in the last two weeks. Put up similar numbers here, and Arizona will be right there. Easier said than done, however. Continue reading

NFL: Packers Toppled As Broncos And Patriots Clinch Divisions

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Can you believe we’re through week fifteen of the NFL season already? There are just two regular season games left, and yet it feels like it was only yesterday that the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks were in tremendous turmoil, and Philip Rivers was the favourite to become MVP. The New York Jets had a winning record, but that does feel like it was a long time ago. We’re right in the crunch of the action now, so let’s look back and see what happened in week fifteen.

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (22-10)

The Denver Broncos claimed the AFC West crown for the fourth consecutive year with victory here. They even did so with Peyton Manning missing a chunk of time in the first half, but Brock Osweiler’s zero completions from two attempts is unlikely to unseat the Hall of Famer any time soon. Instead, Denver ran and ran hard, with C.J. Anderson taking 29 carries for 85 yards. Sure, not huge yardage, but it allowed the Broncos to control time of possession and protect their lead, keeping the defense on the sidelines. Demaryius Thomas had 123 yards and a touchdown off just six passes. Remember when people thought he was in a slump?  That well rested defense is bouncing back, only giving up ten points on the road to a divisional rival with a winning record. The Broncos are now bracing themselves for the post-season, but winning out could yet secure top seeding in the AFC. Continue reading

NFL: Tricky Games Ahead For Divisional Leaders

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With just three weeks left in the NFL regular season, a lot of teams have been officially and unofficially ruled out of the race to the playoffs. The cream has risen to the top in both conferences, and some very good football teams with winning records are going to miss out on the post-season. With the margins for success so narrow, nobody can afford to lose right now, meaning there are going to be plenty of big games to come over the next few weeks, with heroes and villains aplenty. Let’s look ahead to week fifteen. Continue reading

NFL: Seahawks And Steelers Gaining Momentum

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We have nought but three weeks left in the regular season, following the tumultuous end to week fourteen. Many teams suffered heartbreaking losses that put the playoffs beyond them, while several teams shot themselves in the foot when it mattered most. With so much still to play for in the last three weeks, we’ll analyse where those in the hunt went right and wrong with our recap of all the best week fourteen action from the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (24-14)

Another strong showing from the previously ailing Seattle Seahawks. The Super Bowl champs are now in the middle of a three game winning streak, getting hot at just the right time. The defense is playing lights out football, and they really shut down this high tempo offense, with Mark Sanchez finishing with less than one hundred yards passing, and only getting the ball to four receivers. They pressed hard at the line of scrimmage, and gave no separation to Jeremy Maclin and company. One of the touchdowns they gave up was the result of a short field off a muffed punt, so this could easily have been a bigger score. Russell Wilson is orchestrating the offense magnificently, and beat the defense through the air when they went all out to shut down Marshawn Lynch. Nobody wants to play Seattle right now. Continue reading

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