Denver lost its final three regular season games and backed into the playoffs with a mediocre 8-8 record. However, as the Broncos showed against the Steelers, every team is capable is stepping up on any given Sunday, especially when it comes to the postseason.
Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards against Pittsburgh, and has begun to show precision that many skeptics wondered if he had. However, he's far from the only player on the Broncos roster who could give the Pats fits.
After a few seasons serving primarily as a goal-line back in Baltimore, Willis McGahee showed that he still has the ability to be an effective feature back. McGahee rushed for 1,199 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. His ability to pound the football could eventually open things up for the passing game.
If the Broncos' passing attack does go off against a weak New England pass defense, you can bet Demaryius Thomas will be the focal point. Thomas caught the big 80-yard touchdown in overtime to propel the Broncos past the Steelers in the wild card round, but that was only the latest instance of the receiver coming into his own. His size and speed could be difficult for the Pats to contain.
Sure, Tebow's offense gets most of the credit when it comes up with big plays and miraculous drives. But the Denver defense is a big reason the team is where it is right now.
Von Miller, in particular, has been fantastic. The Pro Bowl rookie recorded 11.5 sacks this season, and is already emerging as the leader of a daunting Denver pass rush.
Then, of course, there's Champ Bailey, who even at 33 years old, continues to make plays in the Broncos' secondary. He might not be the shutdown corner he once was, but he's still better than most of the league's cornerbacks.
So who should the Patriots be most concerned about?
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