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Thursday, January 12, 2012
Pats-Broncos II: Denver fans respond

By James Walker

Denver Broncos fans flooded my inbox to let me know they took exception to my comment Sunday night that Denver is "as close to a free pass as New England can get in the postseason."

The Broncos did the Patriots a huge favor by beating the reigning champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat New England in the regular season. Conversely, the Patriots went into Denver and beat the Broncos by 18 points in Week 15. The Patriots are two-touchdown favorites, but you can’t tell Broncos and Tim Tebow Nation any different.

Here is a sample:

Joseph Cardile from Meeker, Colo., writes: Yes, I am from Colorado, and yes, I am a Broncos fan and have been for 38 years. Yes, the Patriots and Tom Brady are very good and should be favored. With that said, I loathe that you would write that this is an easy path. We did not get "rolled" in Denver. We were up, 16-7, and surely would have had more had we not left three balls on the ground. That won't happen twice. Brady was hit harder in the Denver game than against anyone else all year long. And did you see Denver light up Pittsburgh's No. 1 defense in the league? What is New England going to do to stop them? The Pats got GIVEN the game in Denver, they did not take it. Brady just might get hurt in this game. Denver is hungry to prove everyone wrong. Thirteen-point favorites, what a joke. Brady is 2-6 against Denver lifetime. Denver will win this game. They have the toughest road to the AFC Championship game, because they have no idea what's coming. Option read, long passes, over 200 yards in rushing...what is NE going to do to stop it all? Their run is over Saturday night. Get ready to write all about it.

Doctor from Denver, Colo., writes: James, Why even bother to play the game? I can't believe Pittsburgh had to come to Denver to play the game. Their defense was going to shut down the Broncos and make quick work of them. I'll call Coach [John] Fox and tell him to not bother making the trip [to New England].

Jeff Kleiner from Pueblo, Colo., writes: James, careful now. By all rights and conventional wisdom, the Pats should beat the Broncos nine out of 10 times. However, so should have the Steelers, and they did not. Oftentimes teams thought of as lesser reach a point of critical mass and get hot and go DEEP in the playoffs. You know this happens with regularity. If you add several things into the recipe, like over the last 10 years New England does not play well against Denver, or the fact no one is giving Denver a chance, or perhaps Denver is that incalculable free radical that no one can quantify, mixed together and cooked could lead to dangerous trap game for New England and very tasty fair for Denver.

Walker: Well, I'm sticking to my prediction that New England will win this game. But I'm glad Broncos fans are very confident. By the way, I do a "Remember last week" column in the AFC East blog, Broncos fans. So I ask that you continue emailing me comments here on how Denver is going to pummel the Patriots this weekend.