Three things to watch for as the Patriots are set to bury the Broncos in NFL Week 10.
The Patriots (6-2) have an opportunity to bury the hated Broncos (3-5) this Sunday night in Colorado as they could send Denver reeling to its fifth straight loss.
The Broncos were stunned by the lowly Giants a month ago on a Sunday night, and it’s gotten worse since as they then fell at the Chargers (21-0), at the Chiefs (29-19) and at Philly (51-23). In those losses the Broncos have averaged a measly 13.0 points on offense and have allowed 31.0 points per game.
We’ll find out if the Patriots have a killer instinct this Sunday night, or if they’ll look rusty coming off the bye. As we pointed out earlier this week, the Patriots actually aren’t great in their first game coming off the bye in recent years. They’re just 4-3 since 2010.
Shut ’em out
You’ll recall that Brock Osweiler beat the Patriots two years ago on a Sunday night in Denver this time of year. But that Brock is long gone.
When Osweiler was the starting QB of the Texans last year in the playoffs, he was awful against the Pats as he completed only 23-of-40 passes for 197 yards and threw three interceptions in Houston’s 34-16 divisional round loss in Foxboro. Osweiler’s passer rating that night was a brutal 47.6. He was equally bad against the Eagles last week, throwing two picks in a 51-23 loss.
If anyone on the Denver offense should scare the Pats it’s CJ Anderson, who ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns against them two years ago. Anderson did not play against the Pats last season (a 16-3 Pats victory in Denver) due to injury.
In the first four weeks of the season, the Pats averaged 32.2 points per game. In the Pats’ last four games, they’ve averaged just 21.7 points per game. Now, it must be pointed out that the Pats have won each of the those low scoring games but were just 2-2 when they were involved in those early season shootouts. That said, it would be encouraging for Patriots fans to see them hang 30-plus on a Denver defense that is falling apart. The elite team in the NFC, the Eagles, put up 51 against the Broncos last week. If the Patriots truly are the class of the AFC, they should be able to put on a similar show.