Of course, there is no guarantee that Pittsburgh would have beaten New England. New England likely would have been fairly clear favorites in that game. But even if Pittsburgh would have had a 35% chance of knocking off the Pats, that is 35% more of a shot than Denver has.
Denver did the same thing this year that Seattle did last season. They rode a tremendous homefield advantage and a boatload of playoff emotions to a win over a team clearly superior to them. Such is life in the NFL when a 12-4 team and a legitimate Super Bowl contender has to travel across the country to play a team that was an onside kick recovery and boneheaded decision by Marion Barber away from being 6-10.
Then the Cleat of Reality set in for the Seahawks. They found themselves having to travel on the road to play a very good team in Chicago in a hostile playoff environment. Those were some uncomfortable, unfamiliar waters for a team that shouldn’t really have been in the playoffs to begin with. The Seahawks found themselves down 35-10 against the Bears before scoring 14 meaningless points late in the 4th quarter.
Expect the Cleat to visit Tebowville this weekend as the Broncos have to go play Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in their house. This isn’t Denver anymore. This isn’t Wild Card Weekend any longer.
The 8-8 Broncos have go to on the road and play the most successful sports franchise of the last decade.
The Denver Broncos are not going to beat New England. Period.
When the Ravens beat Houston by 14 on Sunday, the stage will be set for Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco vs the two B’s in New England.