With Ryan Mathews (ankle) gimpy, the Chargers may use a heavy dose of former Dolphins first-round running back Ronnie Brown. Expect former Jets running back Danny Woodhead to see plenty of action, too, especially in the short passing game.
Jim Harbaugh has done something not even Bill Walsh did during his Hall of Fame run with the 49ers. Harbaugh is the first coach in team history to reach the playoffs in his first three seasons. Walsh won his first of three Super Bowl titles in his third season in 1981.
Look for Peyton Manning to find tight end Julius Thomas plenty in today’s playoff game against the Chargers. Thomas had 12 touchdown catches, the most by a tight end in franchise history.
Linebacker Shaun Phillips led the Broncos with 10 1/2 sacks in the regular season, and his presence is especially important in light of Von Miller’s (torn ACL) absence. But Phillips, 32, tailed off noticeably toward the end of the season. He had just one sack in his last six games.