With only five weeks left in the NFL season, some teams are scrambling to ensure their spot in the playoffs, while other teams are starting to contemplate how to improve their roster in the offseason.
This week, two teams that are trying to clinch the top two seeds in the AFC meet when the Denver Broncos take on the New England Patriots. The game will be played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and it is scheduled to begin at 8:30 PM. ET.
The New England Patriots are one of the two undefeated teams in the NFL, and they will be trying to win their 11th consecutive game of the season against Broncos.
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This game was supposed to be the latest edition of the Tom Brady and Peyton Manning Rivalry, but it has lost some of its buzz due to Manning being benched due to poor play and injuries.
Brock Osweiler will get the start for the Broncos, and will be trying to win his first career start in front of his home crowd.
Last week, the Broncos turned to their running game and had a lot of success on the road against the Chicago Bears. They gained 170 yards on the ground, which made it easier for Osweiler to find his receivers because he didn’t have to face a blitz on every pass play.
This week, Denver will try to follow a similar game plan, but they will have a tougher time against the undefeated defending champions.
The Patriots have looked very good this season, and they are considered by most experts to be the best team in the league. They are currently averaging 32.1 points per game, which is the second most in the NFL, and they are allowing opponents to score 18.2 points per game, which is the best average in the league this year.
The high scoring Patriots offense will be without the services of Julian Edelman again this week, which could have a big impact on this game because it will allow the Broncos defense to focus on Rob Gronkowski and try to take him out of the game.
Without Manning in the lineup on Sunday night, Denver will rely on their defense to make a significant impact on the game. If the defense can find a way to slow down the New England offense, Osweiler and the offense should be able to make a game of it.
The Patriots know how important this game is, if they win this game, they are one step closer to finishing the regular season undefeated for the second time in the Belichick/Brady era because they don’t have any teams with winning records left on their schedule.
Patriots vs Broncos Betting Lines
The Patriots have shown that they are the best team in the NFL this year, and would love nothing more than to defeat the Broncos on their own field. Without Manning in the lineup, the smart play will be to take the Patriots to cover the spread.
Play: Patriots -2.5