- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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CBS analyst Phil Simms, who will work Saturday's divisional-round playoff game between the Patriots and Broncos, shares his insight on the matchup (comments provided by CBS' media relations):
"Rematches that happen in the NFL always intrigue me, especially when talking about good football teams that played each other not long ago. I saw a lot of plays the Denver Broncos run every single week, but they gave them a little twist this past weekend against the Steelers. When you see it in a game, you know that the other team is prepared for the original play. When you give it that twist, you see what it does. Can the other team adjust or does it turn into something big?
"There were probably three plays in the Broncos-Steelers game that turned out to be big. So the Broncos’ preparation, new thinking, and a new twist to an old play were the difference in the game. We are going to see new twists with two staffs that come up with a lot of different ideas on both sides of the ball. I am spending most of my week watching their last game so that when it does happen, I will know why they did a certain thing. That intrigues me more than anything.
"The Broncos and Patriots defenses could play much better than we think, because they will be able to stop the bread-and-butter plays from the other team’s offense. There is something to the one less day for the Denver Broncos, traveling, and the Patriots get the extra time and preparation and rest. Also, the Patriots have lost their last two playoff home games. I am not going to under-sell that fact at all. How much do you think that has been talked about in New England between the organization, players and staff? To me, those are big things. Their emotional level has to be incredibly high because of the previous two years, and the fact that all anybody talks about is their bad defense. They don’t even talk about Tom Brady. Then you have the Broncos and Tim Tebow, and we have some storm brewing."
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