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News Blitz 1/13: Patriots advance to AFC Championship

Posted Jan 13, 2014

In today's Patriots.com News Blitz the media is buzzing about the Patriots win over the Colts to advance to their third consecutive AFC Championship game.

The Patriots advanced to their third consecutive AFC Championship game with a 43-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Zuri Berry of Boston.com writes about several notable New England achievements from the game, including a record setting performance from Patriots running backs. As a team, Patriots running backs scored a franchise record six touchdowns, including a franchise high four touchdowns by LeGarrette Blount. Blounts 24 points were also the most in NFL history in an AFC division playoff round game.

Zuri Berry also offers his five takeaways from the Patriots-Colts game.

In his "Touching All The Bases" column, Chad Finn of The Boston Globe writes that LeGarrette Blount is running with an entirely different class of ball-carrier now. He's stride-for-stride with the greatest back in Patriots history, Curtis Martin.

"He's got that combination of size, power and quickness and speed,'' said Belichick when asked to describe what makes Blount so effective. "He's not a fullback. He's more than that. He's not a scat back either. He's got power. He can run hard, he can make guys miss and he can go the distance. He's made some big runs for us - going back to the Atlanta game and we've seen the last couple weeks; kickoff returns. He's an explosive player."

The Denver Broncos will host the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 19 at 3pm ET.

Erik Frenz of Boston.com offers a scouting report on the Broncos.

Jim Donaldson of The Providence Journal writes that the Brady-Manning rivalry is as good as it gets in any sport. It's a game between the two best teams in the AFC, led by two of the best quarterbacks of all time.

"It's the Broncos versus the Patriots,” Peyton Manning said following their win over the San Diego Chargers. "Certainly, Tom and I have played against each other a lot, but when you get to the AFC Championship it's about two good teams that have been through a lot to get there. I know it'll be a heck of a game."

Ron Borges of The Boston Herald also offers a feature on the Brady - Manning rivalry.

Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald writes that the storylines could hardly be any more perfect as the Patriots prepare to battle the Broncos on Sunday for the AFC Championship: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, Wes Welker against his old team, Brady revisiting the place of his first playoff defeat.

"It would be as satisfying a victory as we have ever had to go into Denver and get the win," Brady told the "Dennis & Callahan Show" on WEEI on Monday morning.

Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com writes that Tom Brady thinks the Patriots will be considered underdogs against the Broncos.

"I think we've overcome a lot of things, a lot of injuries, we've had some amazing comebacks to get to this situation where we finished the regular season 12-4 with a lot of players filling some big roles over the course of the year," Brady told the "Dennis & Callahan Show."

"And then to having really played our best football the last three weeks, and now to get a chance to go play one of the best teams in the league, it's everything you could ask for. This is what football is all about."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com offers his three thoughts on the Patriots-Broncos AFC Championship game.

In his Monday Morning Quarterback column on SI.com, Peter King writes that in the face of a strong Denver run defense, he wouldn't be surprised to see them continue the running streak featuring LeGarrette Blount, who he awards as one of his offensive players of the week.

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