DENVER — Mother Nature is apparently a big fan of the Broncos and Patriots.
In January weather more befitting of Florida or Southern California, sunshine and 67 degrees is expected for the 1 p.m. MT kickoff here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, as the Patriots and Broncos do battle in ideal conditions for the AFC championship.
The temperature is expected to reach as high as 69 by halftime before cooling off in the evening.
If that holds, it will unofficially go down as the warmest outdoor game in Patriots playoff history.
On Jan. 12, 1986, when the Patriots beat the Dolphins, 31-14, the game-time temperature at the Orange Bowl was 64 degrees. It was officially 60 when the Patriots lost in the 1998 playoffs in Jacksonville. When the Patriots beat the Chargers, 24-21, in the 2006 playoffs it was only 53 and Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville was only 59.
Ironically, today’s AFC championship is the 12th anniversary of the epic “Snow Bowl” at Foxboro Stadium, a game won by the Patriots over the Raiders, 16-13, in overtime in the last game ever played at the venue.
The two biggest injury question marks coming into the game appear to be the health of two rookie receivers that could challenge the Broncos secondary deep.
Kenbrell Thompkins continues to nurse a sore hip while Aaron Dobson is dealing with a stress fracture in his left foot. Both were limited all week in practice and both were questionable coming into the game. Dobson returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the Colts playoff game.
The Broncos have won both previous playoff meetings against the Patriots in Denver, beating the Patriots 22-17 in the 1986 AFC divisional round and winning, 27-13, in the 2005 playoffs, the game most infamously remembered by New England fans by Champ Bailey‘s game-changing 100-yard interception return off a Tom Brady pass to the end zone.
The Patriots gained their revenge two seasons ago when they blew out Tim Tebow and the Broncos, 45-10, in the divisional round. Including Super Bowl XXXVIII, when the Patriots beat the Panthers, 32-29, Bill Belichick is 2-0 against John Fox in the postseason.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Rob Bradford is joined by Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox pitcher who so many are wondering if he will be able to live up the value placed on him by the Red Sox when trading away top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza last July. Pomeranz goes into detail regarding his injury last season, the stem cell treatment he underwent in the offseason, and how he thinks things stand heading into the 2017 campaign.
Rob Bradford is joined by Tom Caron, the man responsible for guiding the ship when it comes to Red Sox pregame and postgame shows, along with various other important duties with the New England Sports Network, including offering the play-by-play for both TV and radio throughout spring training. Tom and Rob discuss a variety of topics, such as nickname conundrums, radio vs. television, criticizing the team, behind-the-scenes for the broadcasts and where the industry is going.
Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.
Hour 4. Rob Bradford had some great insight into the tornado at last night’s Red Sox game. The guys don’t understand what Riley Dennis is trying to argue for.
Hour 3. The guys don’t think Lavar Ball has any influence on Lonzo’s draft stock. Ken Laird gave a lively performance on the Lightning pregame show.
The American treasure Mr. Skins joins the show to talk the Whack-It bracket and take calls.
HOUR 4 - Glenn, Lou and Christian go over a great story in USA Today's "For The Win" blog, which talks about how LaVar Ball was a nuisance towards the head coach Chino Hills high school team, where Lonzo, LaMelo, and LiAngelo play.
The weekly edition of the Whiner Line
HOUR 3 - The guys get back into some Bruins talk and try to parse out some of the blame pie. Also, Glenn thinks Roger Goodell is lying, and that Colin Kaepernick is getting a raw deal.
Final hour brings in the Patriots to the topic table, and still some more Bruins anger.
Mostly angry fire from Bruins fans this hour, with a little NCAA mixed in as well.
Three topics on the table in hour #2 of Freestyle Friday
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
SI's Richard Deitsch returns to the podcast to talk with Kirk about the K&C casting couch, how ESPN wimps out when they are called out for slander, what's going on with Bill Simmons, and the rise of podcasting.
Ben, Russ, and Alex discuss the USMNT victory over Honduras, Christian Pulisic's development for club and country, and Bastian Schweinsteiger's move to the Chicago Fire.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis have a Friday edition of the K&C recap show as 'Hardo Mut' was in with Kirk and Gerry.
Hour 1. Gerry tells Kirk that the trip to the White House may not happen for them. Mut takes his shirt off to prove how well the gym has worked. The guys read an old email from Dino.More from this show
Hour 2. Headlines with Kirk. Kirk and Gerry give Mut a hard time for his workout notebook.More from this show