Seventy-nine days before Peyton Manning punched the Broncos’ ticket to the Super Bowl head coach John Fox lay on a golf course near his offseason home in North Carolina and feared he was dying.
Peyton Manning stuffed the football into his helmet and handed it to an equipment man for safekeeping. The connection: Flawless, as usual.
Only one of them can be the greatest.
Maybe it’s because the forecast calls for the mercury to push toward 60 degrees Sunday, when plenty of fans will be tempted to get in a quick nine holes before heading down to the stadium to fire up the grill.
Embarrassing headlines. Sidelined superstars. Retooled offenses. Shredded defenses. It’s a wonder the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos made it this far.
No matter who has the edge Sunday, it seems the nation is rooting for Manning, because it’s been harder for him to win, because he’s not so pretty, because he’s considered one of us, because you get the sense that his aw-shucks, southern refrain is real.
In anticipation of the AFC and NFC Championship games this weekend, we’ve pulled together America’s leading sportscasters to make their predictions and picks for Patriots-Broncos and 49ers-Seahawks.
Of all the decisions coach John Fox made that kept the Denver Broncos rolling through a drama-filled season, one was an absolute life-saver.
John Elway doesn’t see Peyton Manning riding off into that orange Rocky Mountain sunset the way Elway did 15 years ago if the Denver Broncos quarterback caps his record-setting season with a second Super Bowl ring.
Former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley and running back Reggie Rivers both believe the Broncos mid-season loss to the Patriots was a lesson learned by the team and will help them in the AFC Championship game.