Gridiron Guide: Take the Broncos in AFC playoff rematch

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) steps back Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) steps back to throw during the first quarter of a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams. (Aug. 24, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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John Boell Newsday sports writer John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various capacities since 1999. In 2010, he became Newsday's


8:30 p.m.

Broncos by 7 1/2; O/U: 48 1/2

TV: Ch. 4; Radio: WFAN

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Life is filled with all sorts of second guesses and what ifs.

I'm sure it was a long offseason for the Denver Broncos, who came within a minute of a trip to the AFC championship game last season, but ultimately, lost to Baltimore, 38-35, in double overtime.

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Reports came out that usually-friendly Peyton Manning was testy on his conference call this week to the out-of-town media when asked about last season's playoff game. "You," the Denver quarterback said, "just have to probably check some old clips for quotes."

Translation: "Let's shut up and play some football." Sounds great to me!

Recent money has poured in on the defending Super Bowl champ Ravens as the line dropped from 9 to 7 1/2 for underdog Baltimore. The Ravens, who lost eight starters from last season including linebacker Ray Lewis, were 6-9-1 against the spread (ATS) during the regular season. They did, however, snap a streak of eight straight cover losses against Manning in last season's playoff. The Broncos (10-6 ATS last year) should be geared up to pound the champs in Denver.

The pick: Broncos

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