Broncos-Patriots: The Rivalry Continues on Sunday Night Football
The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots rivalry continues on Sunday Night Football. A win here could save the Broncos’ season.
Sunday Night Football this week continues the Denver Broncos-New England Patriots rivalry. It’s amazing how often these teams have met with high stakes in recent seasons. The Broncos and Patriots are the winners of the last two Super Bowls, as you know. They have also represented the AFC in five of the last six Super Bowls. They have combined for three Lombardi trophies in that span as well.
With the Broncos at 3-5 and facing four straight AFC opponents, a win here could be a huge boost. It is apparent that the Broncos are embarrassed by last week’s performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. CB Chris Harris, among others, have expressed as much in their comments to Denver media this week.
As for me, when I fail, the best I can do is correct my mistakes and move forward. Dwelling on the past does the Broncos no good. Such a high-profile prime-time home game should galvanize their spirits. If you cannot get up for legendary QB Tom Brady and his friends, football’s not the right job for you.
Anyway, here’s Sunday’s injury report.
To me, WR Emmanuel Sanders is the X factor in this instance. Sanders is 103 yards short of 6,000 receiving yards for his career. If he can play, I trust that he can be the impetus toward what would be an upset victory.
The Patriots, per Las Vegas sports-books, are 7.5-point favorites. It is quite rare for any road team to be a favorite in Denver, especially by such a margin. Thus, the Broncos should not be hurting for motivation. It doesn’t hurt matters that the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t pulling away in the AFC West.
If the Broncos want to win, they must improve in turnovers and scoring defense. They enter this Week 10 tilt 31st in turnover ratio (-12) and 25th in scoring defense (24.8 ppg). If the Broncos can finally get over the turnover bug, they should have a good chance to win.
Other defensive metrics remain strong for the Broncos. They’re 2nd in net yardage defense, 4th against the pass and fifth against the run. Additionally, they are still best in the NFL at 3rd down conversion rate on defense. They only allow opponents to convert on 26.7 percent of 3rd downs. The defense is still stout.
If QB Brock Osweiler takes care of the ball and the Broncos win on 3rd down, they should be all right. There is a chance to succeed in this regard. The Patriots’ defense is 18th in NFL annals in allowing 3rd down conversions.
From BSN’s Zac Stevens, this is also significant.
I actually agree with Olivo’s decision here. It bears mentioning that at Philadelphia, the special teams were the good part for the Broncos. Kicker Brandon McManus has made his last five field goal attempts. Of those, two were from 50+ yards away. Should this game come down to a big kick, you know that McManus can make it. I’m a former kicker and confidence is everything at this position.
The Patriots also have a surprise in TE Martellus Bennett. He was reportedly due for season-ending surgery in Green Bay and the Packers released him mid-week. Nevertheless, he was practicing with the Patriots but 48 hours later when they claimed him from waivers.
Next: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots Preview
Anyway, our friend at CBS 4 Denver, Lauren Whitney, has the game forecast.
Anyway, this is your game thread. If any Patriots fans come upon us, treat them kindly. This is, of course, the Broncos’ way. GO BRONCOS!!!