DENVER — The weather here has been perfect for the last two days: mid-50s and sunny on Friday; partly cloudy and low 60s on Saturday.

But it may take a slight turn for Sunday’s AFC championship game between the visiting New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-40s with some possible developing rain/snow later in the day – perhaps in the second half.

That could obviously have an effect on how the game plays out.

But Broncos fans already knew the forecast if they listened to Denver tight end Owen Daniels. A meterology major when he played at Wisconsin, Daniels has provided some fairly accurate game-day forecasts several times this year.

He addressed the forecast Friday with reporters:

“From what I’ve seen it’ll be decent temperatures,” he said. “Low 40s to start the game, but a good chance for some precipitation. I don’t think there will be any accumulation really to speak of. The wind will be down compared to how it was last week.”


He said he wasn’t quite sure when the rain/snow would move in.

“That’s the thing,” he said. “The weather will be moving in on Sunday probably. If it gets any worse, it’ll get worse as the day goes along. I’m really not anticipating much accumulation.”

JULIAN EDELMAN caught 10 passes for 100 yards to spark the Patriots to their 27-20 divisional-round win over Kansas City last Saturday. But he feels he’s going to have to play a lot better against the Broncos’ top-rated passing defense.

He had a couple of drops against Kansas City so he spent extra time on pass catching drills this week.

“Plain and simple, the game comes down to fundamentals, getting open and catching the ball,” he said in a press conference Friday before the Patriots practiced. “That’s my job. Making the situation as hard as possible during the week, going out and doing more ball drills, all those types of things.”

The Broncos allowed just 199.6 passing yards per game.


“They’ve got a bunch of All-Pro and Pro Bowlers, a nasty good group – a good nasty, football nasty,” said Edelman. “They’ve got guys that can get after the pass rusher. It’s going to be a battle. You’ve got (Aqib) Talib, you’ve got (Chris) Harris, you’ve got (T.J.) Ward. You’ve got a bunch of dudes over there that play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. If you slack off and don’t work on the fundamentals of trying to get open on these types of guys, these guys take advantage of that.”

After missing the last seven games of the regular season with a broken foot, Edelman hopes that the rust is completely off for Sunday.

“There’s plenty of situations that we didn’t click (against Kansas City),” he said. “There’s plenty of balls that I didn’t get to bring in, so there’s always something to work for and you can always be better. As long as you try to be better and continue to try to improve, that’s usually when you play your best ball, so we’ve got to learn from the good things, the bad things and bring it over to this Denver game.”

INTERESTING THAT the Patriots named retired cornerback Ty Law as their honorary captain for the game. Are they sending a not-so-subtle message to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning?

Law intercepted Manning nine times, the most by any player against the future Hall of Famer. He was magnificent in the 2003 AFC championship game, intercepting Manning three times in a 24-14 New England victory.

Maybe there’s a secondary reason: This will be the fourth time Law serves as an honorary captain for the Patriots and they’ve won the previous three, including AFC championship game victories in 2011 and 2014, and this year’s season opener against Pittsburgh.


THE PATRIOTS are 8-3 all-time in AFC championship games, 3-2 on the road (including a 26-16 loss to Denver in 2013). The Broncos are 7-2, including 5-1 at home (that loss coming in 2005 against Pittsburgh, 34-17).

WHEN TOM Brady takes his first snap of the game Sunday, he will set an NFL record for postseason games played, with 31. He is currently tied with former Patriot kicker Adam Vinatieri with 30.

Denver’s Manning will be starting his 26th playoff game, which is second among quarterbacks behind Brady.


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