Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/19/14
12:35 p.m.: Patriots punter Ryan Allen is on the field warming up. He’s listed as questionable after injuring his shoulder in the divisional-round playoff game against the Colts. Allen failed to finish that game, but if there was any question that the rookie could play, New England likely would have signed a punter. If Allen can’t go or if he gets reinjured, kicker Stephen Gostkowski would take over punting duties. Gostkowski was effective in that role last Saturday. 8 a.m. ET: If the New England Patriots are going to beat the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game, it won’t be on talent alone. That hope ran out long ago when All Pro after All Pro went down with season-ending injuries. No, if the Patriots are going to make the Super Bowl, they’re going to have to steal this matchup from the Broncos. The Patriots need big plays, key turnovers and they need to run the ball down the Broncos’ collective throat. They need to pick off quarterback Peyton Manning, and they need to discourage the Broncos from running the football. Running back LeGarrette Blount needs to be the running back the Patriots had in Week 17 against the Buffalo Bills and in the divisional-round playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. If the Blount well runs dry, the Patriots are in trouble. And Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has to be able to able to spread the football around. He can’t rely on wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. He has to find running back Shane Vereen and one of his rookie wide receivers, either Aaron Dobson or Kenbrell Thompkins. It won’t be easy for the Patriots to win the AFC title game, but everything seems to be clicking for them at the perfect time — from Blount’s running to rookie defenders like Jamie Collins and Logan Ryan coming into their own. The AFC Championship Game kicks off at 3 p.m., but we’ll have all the updates leading up to matchup here on NESN.com. Follow @DougKyedNESN Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here.Filed under: Doug Kyed, Live Blog, New England Patriots, Top Stories

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker