W2W4: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

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Summary & Game Score Prediction:

Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Historically, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have struggled in the thin air of Denver. Part of that was former head coach Mike Shanahan but Invesco/Sports Authority Field has not been friendly to them. Mile High Stadium was long a nightmare to the Patriots in the past and the franchise is 9-19 overall in Denver. More recently, in the 2013 AFC Championship game, Denver knocked off the Patriots 26-16. The Patriots won in 2011 in Denver, but lost in 2009 and 2005.

This game features two strong defenses and offenses that are trying to find their way. Both teams have proven they are capable of winning ugly, but Denver has had much more experience with it after trying to win with Peyton Manning misfiring at quarterback much of the season.

I have been going over the game tape and analyzing the matchups for this game since Tuesday morning and can only see two ways the Patriots go into Denver and win this game: Rob Gronkowski has a monster 100-yard receiving and multi-touchdown game and another receiver steps up or else the New England defense comes up with multiple turnovers and gets out to a big lead early in the game.

More likely, it is a close game with both defenses making big plays. In those games, the home team usually has the advantage and that should give Denver a chance to hold on and win.

GAME SCORE PREDICTION: Denver Broncos 17 New England Patriots 16