Manning Machine Pounds Brady Bunch To Advance To Super Bowl XLVIII

Manning To Super Bowl, Broncos Beat Pats 26-16 – ABC News

Peyton Manning had an answer for everyone. What’s new? For Tom Brady. For the New England defense. For anyone who thought he couldn’t win the big one.

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Manning is taking the Denver Broncos on a trip to New York for the Super Bowl after another of his impeccably crafted victories – this time, a 26-16 win over the Patriots on Sunday in the AFC title game.

Less than three years after being unable to throw a football because of his surgically ravaged neck and nerve endings, Manning will get a chance for his second ring. He’ll try to become the first quarterback to win one with two different teams, at the Meadowlands on Feb. 2 against Seattle or San Francisco, who play later Sunday for the NFC championship.

After taking the final knee, Manning stuffed the football in his helmet and ran to the 30-yard line to shake hands with Brady. The Indy-turned-Denver quarterback improved to 5-10 lifetime against New England’s QB but 2-1 in AFC title games.

It was far from a fireworks show in this, the 15th installment of the NFL’s two best quarterbacks of their generation. But Manning, who finished 32 for 43 for 400 yards and two short touchdown passes, set up four field goals by Matt Prater and put his stamp on this one with a pair of long, meticulous and mistake-free touchdown drives in which nothing came cheap.

Manning geared down the no-huddle, hurry-up offense that helped him set records for touchdown passes and yardage this season and made the Broncos the highest-scoring team in history. The result: A pair of scoring drives that lasted a few seconds over seven minutes; they were the two longest, time-wise, of the season for the Broncos (15-3).

Manning capped the second with a 3-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas – who got inside the overmatched Alfonzo Dennard and left his feet to make the catch – for a 20-3 lead midway through the third quarter.

From there, it was catch-up time for Brady and the Pats, and they are not built for that.

A team that averaged more than 200 yards on the ground the last three weeks didn’t have much quick-strike capability. Brady, who threw for most of his 277 yards in comeback mode, actually led the Patriots to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. But they were a pair of time-consuming, 80-yard drives. The second cut the deficit to 26-16 with 3:07 left, but the Broncos stopped Shane Vereen on the 2-point conversion and the celebration was on in Denver.

The trip to New York, where it figures to be at least a tad cooler than Sunday’s 63-degree reading at kickoff, will come 15 years after John Elway rode off into the sunset with his second straight Super Bowl victory.

The Broncos have had one close call since – when they lost at home to Pittsburgh in the 2005 title game – but what it really took was Elway’s return to the franchise in 2011. He slammed the door on the Tim Tebow experiment and signed Manning to a contract, knowing there were risks involved in bringing to town a thirtysomething quarterback coming off multiple operations to resurrect his career.

Even without Von Miller on the field, Elway put enough pieces in place around Manning to contend for a championship.

And Manning knows how to make the most of them.

This game started getting out of hand at about the same time Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib went out with a knee injury. Nobody else could cover Thomas and Manning, who finds mismatches even under the toughest of circumstances, found this one quickly.

Thomas finished with seven catches for 134 yards, including receptions of 26 and 27 yards that set up a field goal for a 13-3 lead before the half.

Denver got the ball back to start the third quarter – working the plan to perfection after winning the coin toss and deferring the choice – and Manning hit Thomas for 15 and 4 yards as part of the 80-yard, 7:08 touchdown drive that gave Denver the 17-point lead.

The thought this week was that the Patriots were playing with house money, having well exceeded expectations for a team that lost a number of stars – Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski – and has been plagued by injuries all year.

But a loss is a loss and facts are facts. Bill Belichick is stuck on three titles and hasn’t won one since the NFL busted him for the Spygate videotaping scandal.

The Broncos, meanwhile, got over a big hump last week by beating the Chargers in the divisional round, which is where last year’s trip fizzled unexpectedly against Baltimore.

Manning insisted the showdown against Brady was more Broncos vs. Patriots than Manning vs. Brady. He lets others decide who’s the greatest at this or that.

But he earned a chance to improve on his already-sterling legacy, one that figures to include a fifth MVP award come Super Bowl week.

A win at MetLife Stadium would put him in the same company as his brother, Eli, along with Elway, Roger Staubach and others as a two-time Super Bowl winner.

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2014 NFL Playoffs – Round 2 (Divisional)



Saturday – January 11th – 4:30 p.m. ET

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks

Ed’s Pick:

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Saturday – January 11th – 8:00 p.m. ET

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

Ed’s Pick:

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Sunday – January 12th – 1:00 p.m. ET

San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers

Ed’s Pick:

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Sunday – January 12th – 4:30 p.m. ET

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos

Ed’s Pick:

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Doug’s NFL picks for week 3

Week 1 11-5

Week 2 12-4

Season 23-9

Now to this weeks games

Thursday Night

Chiefs 2-0 at Eagles 1-1 

I gotta go with the Eagles at home, and for Andy Reid to get booed by the classless Eagle fans

Sunday 1:00 games

Texans 2-0 at Ravens 1-1. 

Tough call, but I think the Super Bowl hangover continues, Texans

Giants 0-2 at Panthers 0-2

As much as I would love to say the 0-3 NY Giants, I think the G men rebound this week

Lions 1-1 at Redskins 0-2

Can RG3 get the Skins going? Can their defense stop anyone? No, Lions win

Chargers 1-1 at Titans 1-1

No one knows what these two teams are yet. The Chargers could easily be 2-0, the Titans could be as well. The Titans are at home, the Chargers are more talented. Let’s go Titans

Cards 1-1 at Saints 2-0.

Let me say it like this, Saints big!

Bucs 0-2 at Pats 2-0

The Bucs are the team least deserving of being 0-2, the pats the least deserving of being 2-0, so of course Pats win likely in a fluky fashion

Packers 1-1 at Bengals 1-1. The Packers  are legitimate contenders, the Bengals are the worst dressed team in the NFL not named Jaguars. So I am going with the contender over the fashion felonies

Rams 1-1 at Cowboys 1-1

One thing about the Cowboys, they rarely lose two in a row. Of course, they rarely win two in a row either, but they beat the Cleveland LA St. Louis Cardinals ah Rams

Browns 0-2 at Vikings 0-2

An early matchup in the race for the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Vikings roll. Cleveland is on the clock

Sunday 4:15 games

Falcons 1-1 at Dolphins 2-0

Apparently those newly redesigned Dolphin Unis with the fierce Dolphin are working. But Atlanta still wins

Bills 1-1 at Jets 1-1

The NFL is warning fans who are sensitive to bad football to avoid this game at all costs, sadly, I have to pick someone. And that someone is the Jets

Colts 1-1 at 49ers 2-0

The 49ers should win a close one

Jags 0-2 at Seahawks 2-0

The Jags will play in new helmets with 0-16 painted on them. Seattle will cuise

Sunday Night

Bears 2-0 at Steelers 0-2

Do not ask if the Bears are good enough to be 3-0, ask if Pittsburgh is bad enough to be 0-3. No way I can go against the Steelers here

Monday Night

Raiders1-1 at Broncos 2-0

The REAL question is not who wins, but if the Broncos put up 40 plus points again. Broncos big

Now, where the Hell were Ed’s pick last week?

 

 

Ravens stun Broncos, Niners level Pack to win spots in conference championships

Baltimore gets tie Broncos in final 30 seconds, win in double OT

Welcome to NFL immortality, Joe Flacco.

Somewhere up there in the all-time playoff archives near the “Hail Mary” by Roger Staubach and the “Immaculate Reception” by Franco Harris now lives the “Flacco Fling” by theBaltimore Ravens quarterback.

One big throw down the sideline, 70 make-or-break yards on a wing and a prayer — a high, arcing touchdown pass that soared through the icy air, flew over two defenders, landed in the hands of Jacoby Jones, saved the game for Baltimore and kept Ray Lewis‘ 17-year career going at least one more week.

The record will show Justin Tucker kicked a 47-yard field goal 1:42 into the second overtime Saturday to give the Ravens a 38-35 victory overPeyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The highlight? That would be Flacco’s game-tying touchdown to Jones on third-and-3 from the 30 with 31 seconds left in regulation and no timeouts.

“At that point,” Flacco said, “you have to start taking shots. You have to get a little lucky.”

Kaepernick runs wild, Green Bay hardest hit

The unproven kid thoroughly beat the former Super Bowl champion and reigning MVP.

With a strong arm that allowed him to pick the Packers apart from the pocket and speedy legs that helped him break free for big gains, Colin Kaepernick did a little bit of everything in a record-setting, sensational playoff debut — and Aaron Rodgers just couldn’t keep up.

Kaepernick passed for 263 yards and ran theSan Francisco 49ers right back to the NFC Championship Game with a 45-31 win over Green Bay in an NFC divisional game Saturday night.

Kaepernick rushed for a quarterback-record 181 yards and two touchdowns and threw two scoring passes to Michael Crabtree. Next up for the Niners: a game on Jan. 20 for a spot in the Super Bowl, against the winner of Sunday’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and Falcons at Atlanta.

 

NFL Playoff picks for Divisional Round

Only eight teams are left standing, and after Sunday, there will be four. So who makes the cut?

The action kicks off later today with the Broncos hosting the Ravens in cold Denver. My pick, Denver. Yes Denver might score less than normal, but so will the Ravens, and that spells doom for Baltimore.

Game of the weekend? The Niners hosting the Pack. Such a tough call here. I have been going back and forth on this one. But, I am sticking with my original pick, the Niners, although I will be rooting against them.

Sunday sees the Falcons host the Seahwaks. Another very tough choice. I can see it go either way, but Seattle is hot right now, and the Falcons have yet to prove they can win in the post season.

Lastly, the Pats will destroy the Texans. I wish it was going to be different, but I do not see it.