Last week, in our Broncos-Chargers confidence poll, we talked about the inverse relationship of nervousness and confidence. We talked about how, the more nervous you are, the less confident you are.
That was true last week, but this week, I'm in an entirely different place. I'm both less confident and less nervous about Denver's upcoming AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. Or, perhaps, different nervous. Replacing that nervous stress from last week is something more close to nervous excitement, and it's a thrilling feeling that's simultaneously making each day fly by and making this week drag on.
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The weight of one-and-done in the playoffs is gone, leaving a sense of relief and excitement. I want the Broncos to grab this opportunity and take it, but I'm not stressing about a potential loss. To be honest, I just feel lucky. I feel fortunate that Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco. I feel fortunate that we, as Broncos fans, get to have chips on the Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady poker table. This rivalry is historic, and while it's not all about these two QBs, it just feels like Broncos fans got a late invitation to something special.
I also feel really good about the Broncos' chances. This offense is historic; no, it's historic-historic. It probably broke the record for number of records one can break. But that was the regular season, and this is the postseason. In some ways, this game might as well be a flip of a coin to me. When you're playing a future Hall of Famer at quarterback, you can throw a lot of stats and matchup advantages out the window. A perfectly placed, perfectly timed pass by one of these two is the great football equalizer.
So I'm a little less confident in Denver's chances, simply because it's hard to predict how these games will go through four quarters (as Broncos fans are well aware). But I'm stoked for this game. And I think the Broncos will win.
How are you feeling heading into Sunday's AFC Championship Game?