New England (10-0) at Denver (8-2)
When: Sunday, November 29th 2015
Where: Sports Authority Field, Denver, CO
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
The top two defensive sack leaders in the NFL meet Sunday night in Denver as the Broncos host the New England Patriots. Denver leads the league with 34 sacks and has the top ranked defense as well allowing just 284.1 yards a game. The Broncos are second behind New England in points allowed also with 18.3. Offensively, the Broncos have a new look with QB Peyton Manning out for a few more games with a foot injury. Brock Osweiler made his first career start last week and helped Denver snap a two-game losing streak with a 17-15 victory at Chicago. Osweiler was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 20-of-27 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and zero turnovers. Tight ends Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels combined for 10 receptions and 137 yards, while star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught only his second scoring pass of the season. Running backs Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson finally got back on track with a combined 161 yards rushing. Denver trails New England by two games for the best record in the AFC and will play four of their final six games at home.
The Patriots perfect record will be tested tonight as Tom Brady isn’t left with many receivers to throw to. Brady had his worst game on Monday night when he completed just 51.3% of his passes and failed to throw multiple touchdowns for the first time this season. The Patriots are already without leading wide receiver Julian Edelman and running back Dion Lewis and last week Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson were hurt and are not expected to play Sunday night. LeGarrette Blount might be forced to get a heavy workload tonight as the Broncos have a terrific pass defense. Blount has been effective when needed averaging 4.3 yards a carry. He had 29 carries for 129 yards in the Week 11 win over Washington, so he’s definitely capable. The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title with a win and a loss by the Jets – or losses by both the Jets and Bills. New England is second right behind Denver with 32 sacks on the season and have allowed only a league-best 18.2 points a game.
Osweiler was good last week, but it was Chicago. The Patriots have a much better defense and coach who will be prepared for the young QB. Brady is going to have to find a go-to guy other than Rob Gronkowski, but it seems that he always does. I’ll take the Patriots.
Pick: Patriots -2.5