The Denver Broncos have a short week to prepare for the New England Patriots in the 2012 NFL Playoffs and that preparation comes to an end on Friday afternoon. The Broncos are already expecting safety Brian Dawkins and wide receiver Eric Decker to be out, as both missed the previous two days of practice. The Broncos have shouldered on in Dawkins' absence while Decker has not had a great impact catching the ball the previous several weeks.
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Demaryius Thomas, he of the 80-yard touchdown reception to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, has emerged as Tim Tebow's go-to wide receiver since the start of December. As NFL.com's Jeff Darlington points out:
Since Dec. 1, Thomas is averaging 22.5 yards per catch. His 108.7 yards per game are second in the NFL behind only Lions star Calvin Johnson. Thomas' teammates say they couldn't be happier for him after all he has endured.
Calvin Johnson is the premiere wide receiver in the NFL, which makes Thomas' exploits a sign of good things in the future. The touchdown pass to defeat the Steelers was just the start of things to come. Will he continue that against the Patriots.
Game time/date: 6:00 p.m. MT, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Radio: Sirius 92
Betting Line: .The Patriots are favored 13.5-14 points over the Broncos while the over/under for this game is placed anywhere from 49.5 points to 50.5.
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.