Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Miami Dolphins Michael Thomas (31) intercepts a ball intended for New England Patriots wide receiver Austin Collie (10) as Dolphins cornerback Will Davis (29) defends during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Patriots 24-20. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Kragthorpe: Patriots’ presence in AFC title game is nothing new
NFL » New England has 3 Super Bowl titles, but last one came nine years ago
First Published Jan 16 2014 09:26 am • Last Updated Jan 17 2014 10:03 am

The New England Patriots continually defy an NFL system that’s designed for the sharing of success. They’re in the AFC championship game for the eighth time in 13 seasons, a run of high-level consistency that may never be matched — although the Patriots may add to it in the coming years.

In advance of Sunday’s game at Denver, a look at the Patriots:

At a glance

Editor’s note

This is the third in a series previewing Sunday’s NFL championship game contestants. Friday » New England Patriots

NFL title games

AFC championship

» New England at Denver, 1 p.m.

NFC championship

» San Francisco at Seattle, 4:30 p.m.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Team’s theme

With coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady as the constants, the Patriots keep reinventing themselves and making the playoffs, seeking a sixth Super Bowl appearance in this century.

How they got here

The Patriots went 12-4 to earn the AFC’s No. 2 seed and beat Indianapolis 43-22 in a divisional playoff game.

Super Bowl-bound if


story continues below
story continues below

New England can run the ball much better than San Diego did against Denver last weekend and if Brady can do to the Broncos’ secondary what Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen did in the fourth quarter of that game.

Homeward-bound if

The Patriots’ offensive line fails to protect Brady. San Diego allowed four sacks of Rivers, preventing its offense from getting into a rhythm before it was too late.

Biggest variable

The basic premise is that New England’s No. 26-ranked defense will give up a bunch of points and ask a lot of the offense. But the Patriots allowed only seven points in the second half after falling behind 24-0 in a November game with Denver, making an overtime victory possible. That kind of performance would give New England a great shot at an upset.

Best player

Brady. It’s true that New England produced six rushing touchdowns against Indianapolis as LeGarrette Blount rushed for 166 yards and four scores, but this team will rely on Brady and his unheralded cast of receivers.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.