After the Denver Broncos got blown out by the Detroit Lions in Week 15, they look to bounce back versus the New England Patriots in Week 16. One benefit from this loss is that the Broncos have a pretty weak opponent they can beat up on in Week 16. The New England Patriots will come into this game with a 3-11 record and way more questions than answers.
The team has shifted between Bailey Zappe and Mac Jones at quarterback, and neither has been very good. Well, to be fair, nothing about the Patriots has been very good in 2023. They have the worst-scoring offense in the NFL, averaging 13.3 points per game. They've hit the 20-point mark just three times this year and have two separate losing streaks this year of at least three games.
The Pats are likely still sticking with Bailey Zappe, and he's thrown four touchdowns against four interceptions for a 73.9 passer rating. He and Mac Jones have combined to throw 14 touchdowns against 16 interceptions, so they've been just putrid this year.
Their leading rusher, Rhamondre Stevenson, is averaging just 4.0 yards per carry, and their second leading rusher, Ezekiel Elliott, is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, so the run game has not been that great. Their leading receiver is rookie Demario Douglas, who has 443 yards.
Hunter Henry has six receiving touchdowns, which is the most for them this year. Defensively, DT Christian Barmore leads them with 5.5 sacks, and their leading tacklers is Jahlani Tavai with 90 stops. Tavai, Kyle Dugger and Jabrill Peppers each lead the team with two interceptions. That's really everything the Patriots have been working with this year.
And for the Denver Broncos, we are now officially in must-win territory. In fact, the Broncos do need to win out if they want a legitimate shot at the postseason. I'd expect the defense to get back on track, but the Broncos' run defense has been horrid all year, so I do think the Pats can lean on the run game and expose the Broncos a bit.
I do worry a tad about the team being able to score points against this stingy Patriots defense, but a 20-7 type of game would make sense to me. Regardless of how many points the Denver Broncos score, it's clear that they can have a strong bounce-back game versus the New England Patriots.