Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) sacks and causes a fumble by Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Over the next week, you’ll hear who is the best matchup for the Denver Broncos.
As defensive tackle Terrance Knighton has said pretty much all season, it doesn’t matter who the Broncos play. Of the three teams Denver could play in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the goal is the same for each one.
Of the three, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the better team. And as head coach John Fox said during his Monday news conference, Pittsburgh is the team the Broncos know the least about.
That’s all I will say about who Denver could play or want to play. It doesn’t matter. To get where the Broncos want to go, they have to beat whoever it is. And it’s not like they have any say in who they play.
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The better question is who of the remaining teams, save for Denver, has the best shot to upset the New England Patriots? No matter what happens it can’t be the Steelers.
That leaves the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. In my opinion, the only team who can go into Foxborough and beat New England is the Ravens.
They have done it before. They aren’t intimidated by the Patriots or Bill Belichick. They know what it takes. And they have the team to do it.
Of course, that would mean Broncos Country would have to root for Baltimore. Maybe it will be easier with former Denver defensive end Elvis Dumervil on the roster. Regardless, and as tough as it may sound, Broncos fans should root for the Ravens this weekend.
Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls out against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Since that’s the first of the AFC wild card games, it will give Denver a good idea of who they will play Jan. 11 at Mile High. If the Steelers win, that’s who the Broncos will play. If Baltimore gets the upset, as we all want, Denver will play the winner of the Bengals and Colts.
Trust me, it’s not easy to root for the Ravens given what happened here two years ago. But, as noted above, they are the best chance to defeat New England. Who thought they would have a chance to come into Denver and upset the Broncos? Yet they did.
But even me saying this may give the impression I don’t think Denver can beat the Patriots. Far from it.
I’m simply trying to make the weekend more enjoyable.
In the end, it doesn’t matter who the Broncos play in the Divisional Round or the AFC Championship Game. It doesn’t matter where they play.
What matters is how Denver plays. If the Broncos play how they’re possible, no one will beat them.
Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety David Bruton (30) reacts to a tackle in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 40-14. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports