1. Top Broncos CB Chris Harris in doubt

Chris Harris is a major key to the Broncos’ elite defense because he allows them to play man coverage effectively. He was PFF’s No. 3 overall corner this season, No. 1 in 2014 and No. 6 in 2013. Harris is the man the Broncos are counting on to contain Julian Edelman in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, Harris is nursing a shoulder injury he sustained in Week 17. He was limited to just 74 percent of the snaps against the Steelers, way below his normal 95-100 percent. Harris was also uncharacteristically ineffective. All this is long way of saying Edelman is going to be a huge problem for the Broncos come Sunday. He predictably teed off on the Chiefs last week for a 10-100-0 line on a whopping 16 targets in a game the Patriots won 27-20.

2. Peyton Manning will remain Broncos starter, of course

I thought the Broncos made a big mistake by benching Brock Osweiler in favor of fossilized Peyton Manning. And it almost bit them on Sunday night as they were trailing a shell of a Steelers team at home with under five minutes to play. Yes, Manning dealt with some egregious drops – but these were the same drops Brock dealt with while he was under center.

The fact that coach Gary Kubiak had to confirm Peyton would remain his starter for the AFC Title Game speaks volumes. So does a line that has the Patriots favored by three in Denver. With Manning under center, there’s little reason to believe the Broncos can light up the scoreboard.

3. Jonathan Stewart has foot issue again

Stewart was one of the NFL’s most promising young backs until chronic ankle/foot issues derailed him. They cropped up again late in the year, although he did look very strong while destroying the Seahawks Sunday. So even though Stewart only felt a “tweak” late in the game and the Panthers are brushing it off as nothing, we still need to monitor it. Stewart admitted his troublesome ankle got rolled up on and will get treatment.