The Denver Broncos lost a game last week. It was ugly, but you should expect people to majorly overreact to score predictions this week against the New England Patriots. It’s what fans do and we’re no different.
Collectively, we’re predicting a Patriots 36-21 romping of the Broncos that should send the team into a tailspin of despair for the remainder of the season. Individually, some of us are predicting quite a different outcome and not quite so kneejerky.
Here’s how we predicted the score of this game individually:
Broncos 31, Patriots 24
The game of football is all about matchups. The Broncos did not matchup well on offense or on defense against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they do matchup well against the Patriots defense. The only problem they’ll have on defense is limiting Rob Gronkowski. He’ll get his, but Brock Osweiler won’t be facing the kind of pressure he faced last week and will have a good game against a bad Patriots defense. - Tim Lynch
Patriots 27, Broncos 10
Unfortunately, the "Patriots defense is terrible" narrative is now an inaccurate holdover from early season. In their first 4 games the Pats gave up an average of 32 points per game. In their second set of four games, they allowed just 13 points per game. Examining the four teams that just beat the Broncos, in the 4 weeks preceding their matchups with Denver they allowed an average of: Eagles, 16 points. Chiefs, 26 points. Chargers, 22 points. Giants, 26 points. The Pats defense is arguably playing as well or better than any of them right now. And did I mention that they're coming off a Bye and had extra time to study the Broncos' "offense"? Yeah...
This is where I want to lean into the hope that our defense knows Brady well at this point and has a history of consistently making him have no good, very bad days. But, honestly? The Pats will get 2 scores up in the 1st quarter (one likely due to a Broncos turnover) and then cruise through the rest of the game running the ball and throwing short, quick passes that nullify the Broncos' pass rush. The NFZ must play absolutely flawlessly if this defense is going to stop Brady from doing that, and while the ability is there the motivation probably isn't by now. - Taylor Kothe
Patriots 55, Broncos 27
There is blood in the water and sadly, Bill Belicheat is a shark. This isn't going to be a pretty game, Broncos Country. We've known the truth for years here in Denver: this team is one of the few that doesn't poop themselves when they face the P*ts. Our defense in the past few years owns real estate in Tom Brady's head. In 2015, the Pats had a great shot a championship ruined by this team. This week is about revenge. Don't worry about Billy and Tohmmy say in front of a microphone. They are going to look to right some wrongs and what better way than to lay a 50-burger on a team that has been their Achilles heel over the past handful of years. - Sadaraine
Broncos 27, Patriots 24
The Broncos are not a good football team at this moment. Then again, the Patriots seem VERY beatable in 2017 for some reason. Their defense is about on par with the Broncos offense. And the Broncos defense is a tick better than the Patriots' offense. Plus the Broncos are at home! Plus Brady has butt cheeks on his chin. When you put this all in a cauldron and stir it up, adding eye of newt, nail clippings from a chicken, and a drop of smurf blood, the spirit that raises from within shows a white horse (Broncos), wrapped up in an American flag (Patriotic = Patriots). Does this mean the Broncos are victorious? Sadly, no, because per rock-paper-scissors rules, flag surrounds horse and wins. But this ain't rock-paper-scissors. This is football baby! - Pete Baron
Patriots 51, Broncos 16
As if the Broncos weren’t headed up the creek without a paddle already, New England heads into Sunday Night Football off its bye. Oh, and Denver still can’t cover tight ends. That’s bad, bad news. Per NFL Research, Brady has a perfect 158.3 passer rating when he targets Rob Gronkowski on third down this season. Meanwhile, as Adam Caplan pointed out on Twitter, the Broncos are the worst team in the NFL at covering tight ends the last four weeks in yards (378), per catch avg (16.43), second worst in TDs (3) and receptions (23). On the MHR Radio Podcast I said the Patriots wouldn’t top 50. After seeing those stats on Gronk and how terrible Denver covers tight ends, I’ve changed my mind. Prior to the game, the NFL and NBC should run a disclaimer warning people what they’re about to watch won’t be suitable for any audience. - Ian St. Clair
Patriots 36, Broncos 16
The the Denver Broncos have lost their way as an organization. Unfortunately, they New England Patriots are not. These two franchises are polar opposites. Even with the defensive struggles that plague the Patriots, they continue to find ways to win. On the flip side, the Broncos offensive struggles have translated into inconceivable disarray for one of the winningest franchises in the NFL. This will be on full display in prime time on Sunday Night Football. There are ways for Denver to win, but I doubt the Broncos will be able to come up with them. The Patriots will continue the Denver Broncos Embarrassment Tour, and silence the Mile High faithful. Brandon McManus will go back to his 2015 form, and be the main source of offense. As I predicted on the MHR Radio podcast, he will get three more field goals, but the Broncos will not be able to translate that into a win. - Adam Malnati