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This week’s Sunday Night Football offering has lost a bit of its luster as the 6-2 New England Patriots travel to Invesco Field at Mile High to face the 3-5 Denver Broncos. The Pats have righted the ship by winning four straight after the Carolina loss. More importantly, New England has ironed out its defensive issues allowing just 51 points over the last four games after allowing 128 over the first four. Denver is reeling after losing four straight losses and the realization they have no quarterback. The once staunch defense has seemingly given up after coming to the conclusion that it won’t get any help for from the offense. The current Vegas line is New England -7.5 and the total stands at 46. The forecast calls for perfect weather for the 8:30 PM EST kickoff on ABC with temps in the mid-50s.

The Patriots have been somewhat out of character the last month but the results have been there. The offense has registered 19-24-23-21 points during the win streak. Belechick has opted for a more run-oriented extended drive approach to give his defense a break and it’s worked. The Pats have not given up more than 17 points in any of the last four games and despite still being last in total defense, should start dropping like a stone with five division games, the Steelers, and Oakland on deck. The schedule makers actually did the Patriots a favor in that they’ll play both games at altitude (Raiders in Mexico City) off a bye and back-to-back.

Denver is in complete freefall and word has it that John Elway has given up the season and is evaluating players for a spring/summer rebuild. This will likely be Brock Osweiler’s final start regardless of outcome as the plan is to turn things over to Paxton Lynch, last year’s top draft pick who has battled injuries to this point in his Denver career. The Broncos currently have an NFL worst -12 turnover differential and the pride of the Bronco defense, “The No Fly Zone” was dissected by Carson Wentz and the Eagles for 51 points and four touchdown passes.
Invesco/Mile High has been a nightmare for the Pats and Tom Brady who is 0-3 SU and ATS in the playoffs in this building. The Pats did win here late last year, taking a 16-3 decision and holding Trevor Siemien and the offense to 98 total yards and forcing three turnovers. Strangely enough, New England is just 2-4 ATS coming out of its L6 byes. The Pats have lost six of eight in the series but are on a 6-1 run as a non-division road favorite. The Broncos are off three straight road games and NFL home teams are just 5-9 ATS in that spot. Going back to his brief time with Texans and Browns, Osweiler has turned the ball over 22 in 17 starts so he might be a marginal improvement over Simien and best.

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