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PETER KING'S AFC DIVISIONAL-ROUND FORECAST

Jan. 16, 2012
Jan. 16, 2012

Table of Contents
Jan. 16, 2012

LEADING OFF
GOLF PLUS
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP
NFL PLAYOFFS: AFC
NFL PLAYOFFS: NFC
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
POP HERRING
POINT AFTER
Departments

PETER KING'S AFC DIVISIONAL-ROUND FORECAST

BRONCOS at PATRIOTS

This is an article from the Jan. 16, 2012 issue

SATURDAY, 8:00 P.M. ET

It was fun while it lasted. But the absence of pile-driving guard Chris Kuper will hurt Denver's run game, and the loss of trolling-the-middle wideout Eric Decker takes away a valuable Tim Tebow target. The Pats have had a grim year covering receivers—they were 31st in the league in pass defense—but expect them to constantly use a safety over the top of Demaryius Thomas, which is something Pittsburgh wishes it had done. I can't see Denver covering the Pats' tight ends well—meaning the Broncos' season will not end well.

Patriots 30, Broncos 16

TEXANS at RAVENS

SUNDAY, 1:00 P.M. ET

Ray Rice versus Arian Foster. Who wins? The rested Rice because he has a better QB to threaten the opposing secondary. And though the Texans have done well covering speed receivers, the explosive Torrey Smith will test them deep while Anquan Boldin wins physical battles over the middle. Watch the Ravens consistently put a safety near the edges to contain Foster. I look for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to feed Rice at least 25 times. Cameron and coach John Harbaugh both know Rice is their Super Bowl ticket.

Ravens 30, Texans 20