SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – It’s a Tom Brady-Peyton Manning QB showdown in the AFC Championship game in Denver on Sunday. But it’s the battered Broncos defense that might be the key to the game. “It’s going to be easier pickings (for Brady),” John Madden told the CBS Radio morning crew. “But when you play in a championship game, there are really no easy pickings.”

New England coach Bill Belichick has to figure out a way to stop Manning. “If I were the Patriots and Tom Brady, I’d come out throwing right off the bat and try and get a couple of scores,” Madden said. “You can do something to (defend) Peyton and he’s going to figure it out, and then he’s going to have the answers. And once he gets the answers, he’s going to attack you. So if you can get something done while he’s figuring it out, then that’s going to be an advantage.”

Madden said the Patriots receivers have improved steadily throughout the season. “That’s where the Patriots have come a long way,” Madden said. “They practiced and practiced and got better. And now as we get to this game, they’re pretty doggone good… My heart says that I’d like to see Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos win this. But my brain says that it’s tough against the Brady-Belichick team and what they’re going to do.”

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 am Mondays and Fridays on KCBS during the NFL season.


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