Broncos vs. Patriots

Broncos vs. Patriots: QBs Drew Lock, Cam Newton Both Back | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis

Written by on October 16, 2020

Both the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots will get their starting quarterbacks, Drew Lock and Cam Newton, respectively, back from injury/illness absences when they face off in Foxboro on Sunday. This was originally to be a Week 5 game but pushed back because of some Patriots COVID-19 issues.

How to Bet Broncos at Patriots NFL Odds & TV Info

  • When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
  • Where: Gillette Stadium
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio:
  • Stream Option: TV
  • Opening NFL Lines: Patriots -9.5 (total 45)

Last Meeting

They last played in Denver on Nov. 12, 2017, when the Patriots pulled out a 41-16 win. It marked a streak of seven straight seasons with a regular-season meeting between the clubs. The Patriots will host Denver for the first time since 2014 when New England beat the Broncos, 43-21, at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 2. Denver leads the overall series by a 26-22 margin in the regular season and a 4-1 margin in the postseason. The Patriots have played more games against the Broncos than any other team that has never been in New England’s division.

Why Bet on Denver? | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis

The Broncos (1-3) come off their first win of the season, 37-28 at the horrible Jets on Thursday night in Week 4. Undrafted free agent QB Brett Rypien completed 19-of-32 passes for 242 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in the win. Rypien was in rhythm for parts of the second and third quarters but was otherwise a turnover machine lucky to escape with only three picks. His “biggest play” was a 48-yard touchdown strike to Jerry Jeudy that should have easily been intercepted by Pierre Desir. Rypien will not start this week, though.Melvin Gordon rushed 23 times for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the victory, adding two receptions for 11 additional yards. Late in the game, he ran directly into the

pile as the Broncos attempted to run out the clock. Instead of tackling him for a short gain or loss, the Jets let Gordon bounce outside for a 43-yard touchdown. It was Gordon’s first 100-yard effort as a Bronco, though he’s now reached 70 yards rushing in 3-of-4 appearances.

Gordon was arrested for DUI in Denver on Tuesday night and is facing a suspension at some point, but he should be on the field for this one even though Coach Vic Fangio had said there would be “consequences.” Gordon was held out of Wednesday’s practice but was there on Thursday. He leads the Broncos in carries (65), rushing yards (281) and rushing touchdowns (3).

Denver’s No. 1 QB Drew Lock hasn’t played since Week 2 due to a shoulder injury but is ready to go. It will be Lock’s first-ever matchup vs. the Patriots. He might be down two key pass-catchers, though, in tight end Noah Fant and rookie wideout KJ Hamler. Fant was hurt in Week 4 and has been limited in practices this week. Hamler was ruled out last week for the game that never happened against the Patriots and is much more questionable. The rookie missed weeks of training camp and the season opener with the same hamstring injury.

Denver ranks 31st in adjusted line yards and dead last in run block win rate. The Broncos are also dead last in pass block win rate. The run block win rate is particularly weak in the interior, with guards ranking 29th and center 32nd.

Why Bet on New England? | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis

The Pats (2-2) last played on Monday night in Week 4 and lost 26-10 in Kansas City. New England didn’t have starting QB Cam Newton for that one as he was on the COVID-19/reserve list. No. 2 Brian Hoyer was 15 of 24 for 130 yards and an interception before getting benched in the second half. Jarrett Stidham led the Patriots to a touchdown to close to 13-10, but he also threw two interceptions.

Julian Edelman caught 3-of-6 targets for 35 yards in the loss. It was arguably Edelman’s least impressive performance of the last decade, nearly totaling as many drops (2) as he had catches (3). One drop led to a Chiefs’ pick-six. With Sony Michel landing on the injured list, Damien Harris rushed 17 times for 100 yards. Harris’ 17 carries were a new season-high mark for any Patriots back this season. The Patriots piled up 185 yards on the ground even without Newton, and that was with starters David Andrews and Shaq Mason out of the lineup.

Newton will be back for this game as will cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He also landed on the COVID-19/reserve list but will end up not missing a game. Newton has not only led efficient passing attack with a 68.1 completion percentage (career high), he also leads the team in rushing attempts and rushing touchdowns. Before Thursday, the Patriots had not run a full practice since Newton tested positive.

The New England defense hasn’t been nearly as good this year as last. The Patriots have used man coverage on 63% of passes this season, fourth in the NFL. They’ve allowed 6.8 net yards per pass, which ranks 23rd in the league, and a 62.7% completion rate, which is tied for 16th. Last year, Patriots allowed just 4.6 net yards per pass with man coverage (second) and a 51.2% completion rate (first).

Game Trends

  • Broncos are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games.
  • Broncos are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog.
  • Broncos are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. AFC.
  • Patriots are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
  • Patriots are 22-6 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Patriots are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.

Expert Prediction

Patriots 27, Broncos 17
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