AFC Divisional Round Playoffs Picks – Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos Odds and Predictions

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From the time Indianapolis decided to part ways with Peyton Manning and go all in with Stanford phenom Andrew Luck back in March 2012, the fates of both of these quarterbacks have always been intertwined. So now they both will share the spotlight in the AFC Divisional Round Playoffs Picks postseason while the Broncos and the Colts square off in the AFC Divisional round this coming Sunday.

Divisional Round Playoffs are you ready? Luck and Manning have previously faced one another twice before with the Broncos and the Colts cancelling one another out in those two meetings. This game, however, is the biggest of all of them as at stake in this clash is a spot in the AFC Championship game.

Andrew Luck picked an ideal time to supply his best performance of the season, completing 31 of 44 passes for 376 yards and a game-altering touchdown to lead the Colts to a commanding 26-10 win within the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card game Sunday night.

It’s been a serious start for Luck with regards to his playoff career, he has now went by past Kurt Warner in the set of quarterbacks with the most passing yards in their first four games in the playoffs with 1,438 to his name. Not just that, but Luck also joined Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon and Drew Brees as the sole players to throw three consecutive 300-yard games in the postseason.

That is not bad company indeed but the thing that was most impressive about Luck’s performance Sunday was the way he protected the football when he took on Cincinnati. For the first time in his postseason career, Luck didn’t commit a single turnover in a playoff start. But this isn’t a easy task this week against Denver this coming Sunday, however, while the Broncos are seventh in the NFL in interceptions with 18 for their name this season.

Another worrying concern for the Colts is Luck’s horrible record on the highway in the postseason. He’s struggled mightily in his only two playoff starts abroad, losing 24-9 to Baltimore in 2013, and then succumbing to the New England Patriots 43-22 at Gillette Stadium last season. He averaged 309.5 passing yards in those two games but only had two touchdowns and threw a massive five interceptions.

Still, the Colts will fancy their chances with Luck at the helm while the 25-year-old is playing some inspired football this season.  Luck threw an NFL-best 40 touchdowns this season and he’s third among starting quarterbacks in the passing department with a 297.6 yard per game clip.

That’s quite an accomplishment for some guy who’s playing in only his third season in the league. He will look to include a feather to his cap with a gain within the Broncos this coming Sunday and seal his first ever AFC Championship game appearance.

For Peyton Manning, the stakes can never be higher.

Eleven months after Denver’s humiliating 43-8 defeat to Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII, the pressure is on for Manning to supply that coveted Vince Lombardi trophy to the Mile High city. You will see no excuses now while the Broncos management have surrounded him with the perfect talent to seize the title now around.

Shortly after their debacle against the Seahawks, Broncos general manager John Elway acted quickly on the transfer market snapping up T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware to improve Denver’s defense which was severely exposed by Seattle in the championship game.

The trio have helped the Broncos become one of the best defensive teams in the league this season. Denver is third-best in the entire NFL in the full total defense department with the Broncos allowing just 305.8 yards per game.

With that being said, Denver’s likelihood of winning their third Super Bowl crown will still hinge largely on their offense and the shape of these star quarterback. After an atrocious performance in last year’s Super Bowl, Manning have rebounded strongly this season, compiling an overall total of 4,727 passing yards, advantageous to fourth in the NFL. He is also second in the league in touchdowns thrown with 39 to his name this season.

And if that wasn’t enough, Manning may also be highly motivated this coming Sunday as he will face his former team, the Indianapolis Colts. Manning has recently faced the Colts once this season, completing 22 of 36 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns without interceptions in Denver’s 31-24 victory on opening night.

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were the key beneficiaries of Manning’s performance for the reason that opening game, tallying 104 and 77 yards respectively. Thomas and Sanders have already been the stalwarts of the Broncos’passing game, with both players finishing second and fifth respectively in the NFL in the receiving department this season.

They’ll be licking their chops at the prospect of facing an Indianapolis secondary that is 12th-worst in the league in passing touchdowns allowed with the Colts conceding 27 this season.

What makes this Broncos team a tougher team to beat now, however, is their much-improved running game. Since transforming their offense to a more run-oriented attack in Week 12, the Broncos have averaged 147.7 yards rushing per game. The Broncos will surely utilize their ground game against an Indianapolis defensive line that is allowing 113.4 rushing yards per game, 18th in the NFL.

AFC Divisional Round Playoffs Predictions – The Broncos (-7) edge past the Colts in a shootout,

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