It may not be enough for Terrance Knighton to consistently win man-on-man battles in the trenches to make a difference in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

It will probably take more than that.

"I can handle two," assured the Denver Broncos' powerful, 335-pound nose tackle.

The double-team blocking assignments are surely coming, with Knighton likely targeted by Bill Belichick as the top player to neutralize in order to establish the power rushing game that has fueled the New England Patriots rushing offense in recent weeks.

"The playoffs are about running the ball and stopping the run, to control the clock," Knighton said. "We've got to make it happen. But we can't put eight men in the box or nine men in the box. It's going to come down to the front guys."

For all of the focus on high-profile quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and their array of impact skilled-position weapons, a trip to the Super Bowl could hinge on the performance of low-profiled guys like Knighton.

In other words, the big fellas in the trenches represent ultimate swing factors.

In Knighton's case, he's a space-eater who clogs rushing lanes. And by tying up multiple blockers, he's a load who – rather than compile big stats -- often clears a path for linebackers and other defenders to pursue tackles. The game is not often presented from his perspective.

Yet Knighton knows he won't be ignored by the Patriots.

"I'm sure their gameplan is to take me out of the game," he said.

The Patriots rushed 46 times in their divisional playoff victory against the Indianapolis Colts, with 250-pound LeGarrette Blount shouldering the bulk of the load with a 24-carry, 166-yard performance that continued his recent trail of terror for opposing defenses.