Peyton Manning was signed by the Denver Broncos last year to do two things: help push Tim Tebow out of Mile High country, and try to win a Super Bowl. Manning had an awesome season in 2012 despite missing a year with a neck ailment, and helped the Broncos go 13-3. That easily took care of the first problem.
A quick one and done exit from the divisional round of the playoffs last year didn’t help with the title bid, but Manning stormed back and the Broncos added slot machine Wes Welker to the mix. Sixteen games later, the Broncos are 13-3 again and Manning owns the single-season records for passing yardage (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55).
The big difference? The Broncos won last week to get out of the divisional round, giving Manning his first win as a Bronco and keeping alive his and Denver’s chances at punching a Super Bowl ticket.
While their road to this point has been fairly glorious, it’s worth noting that the Broncos didn’t look amazing in their second round playoff win, and the team they face in the AFC title game – the New England Patriots – beat them earlier in the season.
Add in Denver’s reasonably suspect defense, and it’s understandable if Broncos fans are a little concerned as to whether or not their team can close the deal and claim the AFC title.
While that is anyone’s guess, what is not up for debate is the insane value and potential this matchup has to offer. These two teams are separated by just one loss on the year and their first game was borderline epic (New England came back from a 24-point hole to win in overtime). Throw in what’s on the line – a trip to the big game – and it’s not surprising at all that AFC Championship tickets are a hefty $735 on average, with a $283 get-in tag.
Still wondering how big this game is? Last year’s AFC title game between the Patriots and Baltimore Ravens was $531. This one beats that by over $200.
That will happen when you’re talking Denver Broncos playoff tickets, as they’re the clear favorite here and they’re playing in their own backyard. While the Patriots got the best of Denver earlier in the year, it’s definitely worth mentioning that Manning and co. lost one game all season at home, and it was against the only team that truly seemed to figure them out – the San Diego Chargers.
Denver can run the ball effectively or put points on the scoreboard all day. If New England chooses to attempt to go toe to toe in a shootout, it’s likely the Broncos will have the last laugh.