The Denver Broncos are in the thick of the 2012 NFL Playoffs despite facing doubters every step of the way, and this week Sports Illustrated's Peter King believes the Broncos will fall short against the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round. For the first time in a long time, an expert picking against the Broncos somehow managed to avoid mentioning the name of Tim Tebow in the analysis. As King sees it, the Patriots offense will prove to be too much for the Broncos defense to handle:
The Broncos don't need to worry about getting Gronked here. They have to worry about getting killed by both tight ends. Aaron Hernandez had nine catches the first time these teams played this year, a month ago in Denver, proving Rob Gronkowski isn't the only one who can obliterate a defense among New England's tight ends. Gronkowski and Hernandez combined for 169 catches this season, and that's going to be the most difficult single factor for Denver to address here. I don't see enough quality cover men to cover those two plus Wes Welker, and Brady will feast.
Patriots 30, Broncos 16
In the other 2012 NFL Playoff action, King is going with the New Orleans Saints to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens to handle the Houston Texans and the Green Bay Packers to edge the New York Giants.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on this game, visit Broncos blog Mile High Report and Patriots blog Pats Pulpit. Head over to SB Nation NFL for more coverage of the 2012 NFL Playoffs.