For the New England Patriots to make it to the Super Bowl this year, they will need to get past the Denver Broncos in Denver on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. EST. That should not pose too big of a problem. After all, the Patriots are the favorites in the game. That only says a little bit though, there are reasons why they are favored to win the game after all. Looking at the injury report though, some of those might not matter because 16 Patriots players were listed on it this week, as MassLive points out.
Of the 16, most are listed as questionable, which is supposed to mean a 50 percent chance at playing while a handful of guys are probable, the equivalent of a 75 percent chance of playing. Knowing Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, however, it is safe to assume that these guys play, all of them.
In football, players are often dealing with multiple injuries at a time, which is nothing new. The reason why they have team doctors and trainers is so that players can keep playing no matter what they are dealing with, according to Newsday.
Patrick Chung and Matthew Slater were the most recent additions to the injury report, but they are probable and questionable respectively. In Patriots terms, that means expect them on the field on Sunday. They might not be 100 percent, but Chung should be starting at safety while Slater takes on his regular special teams duties.
For the New England Patriots, taking advantage of an aging Peyton Manning will be key. Manning is not the player he once was, not by any means. Mentally, he is still the same old field general but physically, his abilities look like someone who does not play professional football. Thankfully for Manning though, his mind is even better than ever, which is why he is still able to compete at a high level, according to the team’s website.
Ideally, the New England Patriots want to stop the run early and force Manning to throw because it is not 2010 any more and Manning is no longer a prolific passing threat. He has his targets, and they are among the best in the game, so they kind of help his case in that regard, making him look better than he actually is at this point. It could be the last Tom Brady-Peyton Manning matchup ever, so both quarterbacks could be that much more determined for a win.
Commentary by Tom Joyce