Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck face off in the playoffs with a shot at the AFC Championship game at stake.
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Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos host Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
With the best home record in the AFC (a perfect 8-0), the Broncos have been finding new ways to win a midst the recent struggles of QB Peyton Manning. The future Hall of Fame QB had fewer TDs and more INTs than Jets QB Geno Smith in the month of December – not a good sign. Luckily for the Broncos, the emergence of RB C. J. Anderson has helped the offense finish 2nd in points and 4th in yards. Improvements in the defense allowed the unit to finish the season 16th in points and 3rd in yards allowed. But the game will also be the first time in the storied career of Peyton Manning that he faces off against his former team in the playoffs – and with a 12-13 postseason record, this game could define Manning’s legacy.
The Colts have been considered one of the paper tigers of the NFL playoffs with a 6-0 record in the pitiful AFC South and a mere 5-5 record outside of it. On the road the Colts have also been rather pedestrian, going 5-3 and having already lost to the Denver Broncos earlier in the season. But with star QB Andrew Luck – in his third straight trip to the playoffs in three years since Peyton Manning departed – no lead is safe and the Colts offense is capable of striking at any moment. RB Daniel Herron allowed the Colts to keep the ball on the ground for a team that has been one of the worst at running the ball in recent years.
Prediction: The Denver Broncos win AFC Divisional Round – History tends to repeat itself in the playoffs and the Broncos have already topped the Colts once – they can certainly do it again, especially now that RB C. J. Anderson can take the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands when he takes too long to get warmed up. QB Andrew Luck will struggle in Denver and make those game-dooming mistakes throughout the game.