Denver has too much to overcome

Updated: January 7, 2005, 4:21 PM ET
By Hank Goldberg | ESPN Insider
Since 1978, just under 45 percent of games in the wild-card round have been decided by 14 or more points.

Give me the Colts. Peyton versus Plummer at quarterback matches Manning, whose 49 touchdown passes broke a record that few thought would be broken, against Jake, whose 20 interceptions led the AFC. Oh yeah, Indianapolis is plus-20 in turnovers. And Denver will have trouble covering Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley, plus Dallas Clark and Edgerrin James.

The weather in San Diego calls for rain and high winds. Drew Brees will go to Antonio Gates, his tight end. Jets QB Chad Pennington, whose arm is not as strong since a rotator cuff injury, will have to depend on his running game against the No. 2 defense in the league.

Hank Goldberg is an NFL reporter on a variety of ESPN programs. He first joined ESPN2 as football analyst on SportsNight when the new network launched Oct. 1, 1993. He has also been a frequent contributor on ESPN Radio since June 1992.