Week 6 Preview: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriotsby Jacob Dunne October 15, 2020 0 comments
Week 6 finds us at Gillette Stadium to see the Denver Broncos take on the New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming into the game after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Broncos are reeling after securing their first victory of the season against the New York Jets. Both the Broncos and Patriots are on track to get their starting quarterbacks back after the NFL postponed their Week 5 matchup until Week 6.
The Broncos are coming off a thrilling 37-27 win against the New York Jets. Brett Rypien completed 19-31 passes (61.3 completion percentage) for 242 yards and two touchdowns versus three interceptions in his first career start. Melvin Gordon rushed for a season-high 107 yards and two touchdowns. Tim Patrick had six catches for a career-high 113 yards and a touchdown. Noah Fant had five catches before going down with a mild high-ankle sprain. Fant was a limited participant in practice this week and is officially questionable to play in Week 6. Bradley Chubb broke out to the tune of five tackles and a season-high 2.5 sacks. Josey Jewell led the team with 10 tackles and added two sacks while Alexander Johnson recorded his first sack of the season.
Drew Lock is expected to return this week after missing the last three games with a rotator cuff strain in his right shoulder. His return is fantastic news for all Broncos pass-catchers, including ascending rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy is averaging seven targets a game but has only reeled in 53.6 percent of those targets. The Broncos hope that Lock’s return can clean up Jeudy’s inefficiencies. Phillip Lindsay is another Bronco expected to make his return from injury this week after being out the past three games with turf toe.
Lindsay’s return is a tremendous boost to the Broncos’ rushing attack. Expect the Broncos to ease Lock back into game action by relying heavily on both Gordon and Lindsay to move the ball against a Patriots defense, allowing 115.2 rushing yards per game (17th in the NFL). If the Broncos want any chance of winning this week, they will need to generate pressure, keep the score low, and control the football with Gordon and Lindsay.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are coming off a 26-10 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19 and did not play in this game, leaving journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterback. Hoyer completed 15-24 passes (62.5 completion percentage) for 130 yards before being benched for second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Stidham came in and threw for 60 yards and a touchdown in his season debut. Damien Harris made his season debut and led the Patriots with a career-high 100 rushing yards. James White had 59 scrimmage yards and a team-high seven catches.
The entire Patriots’ offense receives an enormous boost with Newton returning this week. Last week, the Patriots mustered just 172 passing yards despite trailing most of the game. The Patriots were averaging 29 points per game with Newton at the helm before last Sunday’s debacle. Newton was enjoying a career year before being placed on the COVID-19 list. Newton threw for 714 yards and two touchdowns over his first three games, along with 149 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The Patriots pass-catchers Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and Damiere Byrd all benefit from Newton’s return as the Broncos defense is giving up 256.2 passing yards per game (22nd in the NFL). Expect the Patriots to unleash Newton this week. Whether it’s through the air or on the ground, Newton has a significant chance of eclipsing 350 or more total yards. With Sony Michel (quad) out, Harris will control the football while White and Burkhead handle the pass-catching duties out of the backfield. Expect the Patriots to involve all three running backs in their offensive game plan.
Date: October 18, 2020
Start time: 1 P.M. EST
Location: Foxborough, MA
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: DEN +10 (-110) | NE -10 (-110)
Moneyline: DEN +355 | NE -445
Over/Under: O 45 (-110) | U 45 (-110)
The Patriots come into Week 6 ranked third in the league in takeaways per game (two). Expect Bill Belichick to devise a defensive game plan to shut down Lock and the rest of the Broncos’ offense. The Broncos’ injury-ravaged defense will have a tough time containing Newton, making this game a potential blowout. If the Broncos want any shot at upsetting the Patriots this week, Lock will need to knock the rust off early and match Newton score for score. With this being Lock’s first game back since Week 2, expect the Patriots to take care of business at home. Expect the Patriots to cover the 10-point spread.
Both the Broncos and Patriots run the air out of the ball to start the game, resulting in a low-scoring first half. Coming out of the break, Newton leads the Patriots down the field and finds Harry in the back of the end zone. The Broncos’ offense completely stalls in the third quarter, creating more scoring opportunities for the Patriots. The Patriots take a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter. The Patriots’ defense takes advantage of the lead and forces multiple sacks and a turnover late to seal the victory.
Final Score: Broncos 16, Patriots 27
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