Peyton Manning, Broncos teammates will enjoy win over Chargers before starting real prep work for Patriots
|01.13.14 at 6:15 am ET|
In the wake of Sunday’s divisional playoff win over the Chargers, the Broncos acknowledged they were going to take a few hours to enjoy the moment before moving on to prepare to host the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC title game.
‘Well, I think I’m just going to enjoy this one first,” said Denver coach John Fox of the 24-17 victory over San Diego. “It hasn’t sunk in. We’ll dig into [the Patriots] tomorrow. We’ll enjoy it tonight for what it is. We’re very honored and pleased to be in that position.’
‘We’re going to address [the Patriots on] Wednesday,” said quarterback Peyton Manning. “We’ll certainly talk about them plenty on Wednesday. But, we’ll enjoy this one. You’re supposed to enjoy these wins. They’re hard to come by, and we’ll start working on the Patriots tomorrow.’
Two Denver players who have a history involving the Patriots are Manning and wide receiver Wes Welker — Manning because he’s so connected to Tom Brady (this will mark the 15th time they’ve squared off against each other), and Welker because of the fact that he spent six seasons with New England before signing with the Broncos this past offseason.
“Tom Brady has just been an outstanding quarterback for such a long time, but the game next week is the Broncos versus the Patriots,” Manning said. “I know there will be some individual matchups that will get headlines, but it will be a battle between two good teams. Teams that have been through a lot, that have overcome a lot to get to this point, and that’s where my focus will be — trying to help the Broncos get a win against the Patriots.”
‘It’s the AFC Championship game, so there will be plenty of juice,” said Welker.
It’ll be the second matchup of the season between the two teams — in the first game, the Patriots dug themselves out of a 24-0 halftime deficit to post a 34-31 overtime win.
Defensive end Robert Ayers said the Broncos are not going to be motivated to beat New England because of that November loss.
‘That’s not going to motivate me,” Ayers said. “I can’t speak for anyone else. That’s not going to motivate me at all. That’s the last thing on my mind. We have to go out there and try to win. Regardless of what happened last time, if we don’t bring our ‘A’ game, we’re going to lose. We’re just going to focus on bringing our ‘A’ game. We are going to enjoy this victory for the night and tomorrow we’re going to start back preparing and that is what we are looking forward to, just getting another win and moving one step forward.’
‘We’re looking forward to it,” said defensive end Shaun Phillips. “Obviously we’re the two best teams in the AFC because we’re playing for the AFC Championship, so what more can you ask for? That’s what you want as a football player. Tom Brady is my second favorite quarterback behind Peyton. I really like Tom. I think he’s a great player and a great person, but what better way to do it? You want the two best teams going head-to-head, and that’s what’s going to happen.’