By Greg Dempson
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
The last time these two opponents faced one another was in week 12, and that contest did not feature Brady vs. Manning when the Patriots traveled to Denver. Each team played without key starters and in that contest the Patriots went 2 of 13 with their third down conversions and thus, Brady’s Mile High record was anything but, “Mile High” as that most recent loss had the Pats/Brady at 2–6 straight up. In that contest Denver rallied to defeat New England 30–24 in overtime. Denver trailed 21–7 in the 4th quarter and rallied to tie the game 24–24 and win in overtime. Brady was able to toss three touchdowns without Julian Edelman in a losing effort and he lost tight end Rob Gronkowski to a knee injury late in the game.
Denver is great at stopping the run and the Patriots do not have a running game and that usually spells doom for teams that cannot run the ball with some degree of success.
Since 2001, when factoring in all 32 teams that have played in a game whereby they abandoned the run to such an extent they passed the ball 80% or more times in a game, those 32 teams are only 7–86 straight up, never mind the spread.
There is one exception to that statistic, Tom Brady, as the Patriots are the lone exception with Tom Brady’s under center. The Patriots have played 5 games when Brady’s passed the ball 80% or more times in a game, New England’s record is 4–1. It’s hard to grasp…. as 31 quarterbacks/teams have gone 3–85 without a run game while New England/Brady is 4–1.
Ask Yourself This?
If Kansas City had defeated New England last week, what would the line be? Alex Smith vs. Manning? Kansas City would certainly be capable of defeating Denver. However, Alex Smith is a “game manager” but Smith is a QB who can not only run but still throw the ball down field, Manning is well, Manning. Obviously Denver would be laying wood in that scenario.
Denver’s defense vs. the Patriots offensive line? New England cannot run the ball so what will Denver do? Well, last week Brady got rid of the ball in less than 2 seconds and 66% of his passes where for 10 or less yards. Tom is the better quarterback but laying 3 on the road when you are only 2–6 straight up is questionable.
Patriots vs Broncos Pick
Take New England to score 24 or more points as my Every Edge Game of the Week.