The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos' matchups in the past have usually been marketed as Brady vs. Manning with everything else relegated to the background.
However, Mike Florio of NBC's Pro Football Talk claims that the residue of the feud between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and former Patriots, now Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker might take its share of the headlines:
They claim they’re not, but how can there not be lingering ill will after Belichick’s harsh, unsolicited criticism of Welker for applying a hit to former New England (now Denver) cornerback Aqib Talib that wasn’t dirty or illegal?
Whether it came from residual hostility toward Welker for leaving the Patriots or an effort to curry favor with Talib, who was approaching free agency, Belichick went over the line in insisting that Welker went over the line. Both are presumably treading lightly with their words; that probably will change when it’s time to play.
Regardless of Florio's personal thoughts on Belichick's role in the controversy, it should be interesting to see exactly how these combustible elements react to one other both during and after the game.
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