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PREVIEW \ Sunday's games



Published: Sat, January 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



DENVER at INDIANAPOLIS

Time: 1 p.m.TV/radio: (27) (19) (2) (WBBW-AM 1240)Series history: Broncos lead 11-5 overall; Colts lead 1-0 in playoffs.Last meeting: Broncos beat Colts 33-14 on Jan. 2 at Denver.Key matchup: Broncos DE Reggie Hayward vs. Colts QB Peyton Manning. Manning had one of the most dominant seasons in NFL history, setting records with 49 TD passes and 121.1 passer rating. He played only one series last week, throwing two passes, and as a result finished third in league with 4,557 yards passing. He was sacked only 13 times all season and Indy allowed 14 all year, tied for fewest in league. Hayward leads Denver with 10 1/2 sacks, tied for third most in AFC. Broncos' defense had 38 sacks. To win, Broncos must pressure Manning, something few teams have done this season.Streaks, stats, and notes: Game marks 13th time in NFL history teams have met in playoffs the following week after they ended regular season against each other. Winner of last regular-season game has won playoff game five times. ... Against common opponents Colts were 7-2, Broncos were 5-4. ... Colts DE Dwight Freeney led NFL with 16 sacks and has 40 in last three seasons. ... Colts led NFL with plus-19 turnover differential. Broncos were minus-9. ... Colts WR Marvin Harrison was second in NFL with 15 TD receptions. ... Broncos QB Jake Plummer passed for club-record 4,089 yards this season. ... Only Chiefs allowed more gross yards passing per game than Colts (264.5 per game) did in regular season.

MINNESOTA at GREEN BAY

Time: 4:30 p.m.TV/radio: (17/62) (8) (53) (WBBW-AM 1240)Series history: Packers lead 44-42-1 overall.Last meeting: Packers beat Vikings 34-31 on Dec. 24 at Minnesota.Key matchup: Vikings DT Kevin Williams vs. Packers RB Ahman Green. In two meetings against Vikings this season, Green rushed for 209 yards and one TD. Green rushed for 1,163 yards, his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season, tying Jim Taylor for most in club history. Green ran for seven TDs this season. Vikings allow 125.4 yards rushing per game. Williams made Pro Bowl in only his second season.Streaks, stats and notes: Packers won both games against Vikings this season by same score, 34-31. Both times, Packers K Ryan Longwell hit winning FG with no time remaining. ... Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper led NFL with 4,717 yards passing and was second with 39 TDs and a 110.9 passer rating. Packers QB Brett Favre was second in NFC with 4,088 yards passing and third in conference with 30 TDs. ... Minnesota totaled only eight TDs rushing. ... Packers WR Javon Walker was third in NFL with 1,382 yards receiving. ... Vikings' offense averages 6.4 yards per play, second most in league. ... Packers converted 47.3 percent of third downs in regular season, second best in NFL. ... Since 1990, Green Bay has won the third meeting each time it has played a club twice in a season and then in the playoffs (1993 and 1994 against Detroit; 1997 against Tampa Bay). ... Packers had minus-14 turnover differential in regular season. Vikings were plus-1. ... Packers allowed only 14 sacks all season, tied for fewest in league. Vikings' defense had 39.

Associated Press




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