Woody Paige, Denver Post:
As a softspoken Peyton Manning said last Sunday in San Diego, the Broncos are guaranteed a place in the playoffs and have a shot. Terrance Knighton was more outspoken, telling The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla the Broncos will "hoist" the Super Bowl trophy.

John Elway wants champs, not runner-up chumps.

In the seven games before playing the Patriots, Peyton Manning threw 22 TDs and had three interceptions. In the past eight games, Manning has thrown 17 TDs and 12 picks.

In the Monday Night game against the Cincinnati Bengals, a well designed defense picked off Peyton Manning four times. The Bengals recorded an upset win at home securing a spot in the playoffs. For Denver, it was a wasted opportunity to force the New England Patriots to go all out on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots received an early Christmas present from the Broncos.

As always, the blame will be placed on the Denver QB, Peyton Manning. The first of four interceptions thrown by Manning should be charged to TE Julius Thomas who allowed the Bengals' S Reggie Nelson to rip the ball away on the left sidelines.

Peyton Manning would toss three interceptions in the fourth quarter. Two picks were by CB Dre Kirkpatrick. The first interception was a 30 yard TD return which sealed the victory for the the Bengals. Kirkpatrick came off the bench in place of Terence Newman following the 46 yard TD pass from Manning to WR DeMaryius Thomas.

"It was the biggest night of my life to go out and play the way I did against a Pro Bowl receiver and Hall of Fame quarterback," Kirkpatrick said.

Denver Post:
Barring the No. 1-seeded New England Patriots suffering an upset in their second-round playoff game on January 11, the Broncos' path to the Super Bowl will run through Foxborough, Mass. "I learned a long time ago it doesn't matter how you start the race it's how you finish," said Broncos coach John Fox.

In the Denver Post power rankings in the AFC, New England is #1 and Denver is now #4. The Pittsburgh Steelers are #2 while Cincinnati has leaped to third. The only mention is the Broncos' path to the Super Bowl running through Foxborough, MA.

While the Boston Red Sox only concern themselves with the New York Yankees, and vice versa, the San Francisco Giants have won three of the past five World Series. The Broncos and Patriots need to learn there are 30 other NFL teams that do exist.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 12/23/2014 04:26:00 PM Edit

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