Here are this morning’s top stories:
Steve Grogan: Additional Thoughts on Denver Match-up – Steve Grogan & R.R.Marshall -Â Here are some additional thoughts from formerÂ PatriotsÂ quarterback Steve Grogan, who sat down with R.R.Marshall earlier this week and talked about this Sunday’s match-up.
Peyton Manning can’t afford to wilt now – Dan Shaugnessy – After telling fans in New England the Patriots can’t win this week, Shaughnessy is apparently trying to reinforce that by likely hoping Manning doesn’t play poorly and keep his prediction from coming to fruition.
How the Patriots and Broncos match up – Here’s aÂ statistical look at how the Patriots and Broncos stacked up in the 2013 regular season.
Aqib Talib has resurrected his career with the Patriots – Shalise Manza Young – Manza Young has a good article on Talib and how he’s been able to turn things around here in New England.
Honorary captain Willie McGinest may be next in Patriots Hall of Fame – Zuri Berry – After the announcement that McGinest will be on the field for the coin toss this weekend, Berry writes that he believes McGinest will be the next player entering the team’s Hall of Fame.
Back at practice, Tom Brady says he feels great – Michael Whitmer – Whitmer files his notebook this morning which leads off with comments from Brady, who told reporters yesterday he feels “great” heading into this weekend.
Patriots must maintain tempo – Jeff Howe – Howe writes thatÂ Tom Bradyâ€™s best asset Sunday against the Broncos could be the offenseâ€™s pace and attitude.
Borges: Logan Mankins on the prowl – Ron Borges – Borges has comments from Logan Mankins, who said that with the talk centering around the two quarterbacks he thinks it would be cool if they drew a circle on the field and let the two of them go at it.
Chipper Tom Brady back on field after illness – Jeff Howe – Howe writes aÂ chipper Tom Brady returned to work yesterday after an illness sidelined him for the Patriotsâ€™ first practice of the week.
Matching up: Patriots vs. Broncos – Karen Guregian – Guregian goes through position-by-position and breaks down who she gives the edge two in Sunday’s game.
Power hitters: Peril at Peyton Manningâ€™s Place -Â Ron Borges, Steve Buckley , Karen Guregian and Jeff Howe – The Herald’s columnists each have thoughts about Sunday’s Championship game in this entry.
Notebook: Kyle Arrington gears up for rematch with Welker Â - Jeff Howe – Howe files his notebook this morning which leads off with comments from Kyle Arrington about his upcoming battle with Wes Welker on Sunday.
Chatham: Broncos huge test for Pats pass coverage – Matt Chatham – Chatham files his weekly report and believes Denver’s offense will be a big test against New England’s secondary.
Kenbrell Thompkins counts blessings – Mark Daniels – Daniels has a good read on Thompkins, who is thankful to have Tom Brady as his quarterback.
Penalty watch: Corrente gets the call – Mike Reiss – Reiss compares penalty numbers, as he does every week, between the two teams in this entry.
Pats-Broncos connections, Part 2Â - Â Field Yates – Yates also has his weekly entry, looking at the connections personnel and player-wise for both teams.
Picked-up pieces around Patriots – Mike Reiss – Reiss has leftover notes with some additional comments from the locker room yesterday.
Patriots top special teams ranks – Mike Reiss – Reiss notes the special teams rankings posted by Rich Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, and this season New England came out on top.
Enjoy This, Patriots Fans, Because It Wonâ€™t Last Forever – Michael Hurley – Hurley writes that while fans may have a routine in preparing for AFC Championship games, they should enjoy it as much as humanly possible because this may be it.
It’s Time to Man Up – Andy Benoit – Benoit writes that the AFC Championship Game this weekend is a case study of how NFL defenses are evolving.
Aye, Thereâ€™s the Rub - Greg Bedard – Bedard looks at the pick plays that the Patriots receivers and Denver receivers run, and looks at which ones are legal and how they try and get away with even more.
NE PATRIOTS DRAFT:
Inside Zone: How the Patriots Run Defense Has Shifted Since the .Last Broncos Encounter – Oliver Thomas – Thomas has a good breakdown this morning looking at how the Patriots run defense has changed since their previous match-up vs Denver.
Title drought has us singing the Boston blues – Eric Hughes – Hughes has an article with comments from fans on the lack of recent championships by New England.