After being postponed last weekend, it seems as if the New England Patriots/Denver Broncos matchup will finally take place this Sunday afternoon. Although it should be noted that the Patriots will be without Shaq Mason, Byron Cowart, Derek Rivers, and James Ferentz on Sunday due to being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list. Sony Michel was also placed on the COVID-19 reserve list, but because he was already on the injured reserve he would have missed the game regardless. With that in mind, here at Pats Buzz, we will be putting out staff predictions for each and every Patriots game until the end of the 2020 season. Let’s jump right into it our Week 6 predictions!
Luke Ervin: @PatsBuzz
Patriots 27 Broncos 10
The Patriots defense is in a prime postion to have a dominating performance on Sunday. The Broncos will be without Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon, and K.J. Hamler. The Broncos will have Drew Lock back in the lineup but with a group of decimated weapons, I expect Bill Belichick and the secondary to shut down the passing game. The real deciding factor is the Patriots run defense. The Patriots have had their ups and down in run defense through four games, and the Broncos are getting back their starting running back Phillip Lindsay. Ultimately, I think New England does enough to limit their rushing attack.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots offense will have to overcome a decimated offensive line (David Andrews, James Ferentz, Shaq Mason all out). It won’t be easy as they face a solid defensive line group that features Shelby Harris and Bradley Chubb. Even with the numerous missing offensive lineman, the Patriots will still have a pretty good group of linemen available to play. PLUS, Cam Newton is back in the lineup, and that gives the Patriots more than enough to move the ball against the Broncos defense. The Patriots’ top-ranked rushing attack should still be able to do its thing, but the Patriots should also have an advantage when passing the ball. Any way you look at it, this is a game the Patriots should win this game and I think they do.
Cameron Ciano: @thehookcam
Patriots 28 Broncos 14
The New England Patriots will finally be able to play the Denver Broncos this Sunday. In a weird way, this was a good case scenario for New England, since it gave time for Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore to come back. I expect this game to be tighter than most people would predict. The reason being is the lack of practice from New England. They were basically forced to take 10+ days off which can be detrimental for any football team. Ideally, these guys are professionals and they can gear up and play at any time, but it’s difficult to really focus on the minor details when you have had so much time off.
Drew Lock will be back, and it will be interesting to see how he and the Denver wide receiver room are able to perform against the New England secondary. Ultimately, I think the New England front seven is more dominant than the Denver offensive line. The Patriots pressure will have an effect on the young quarterback. Offensively, it’s going to take a few drives to really get the Patriots’ offense going. I expect them to pound the rock early and focus on getting some easy competitions to start the game. New England will cover the spread on this one, but there will be some mistakes along the way.
McGarvin Lamarre: @PatriotsPOV
Patriots win 31-14.
The scariest part of the Broncos offense might be their ground game vs New England’s rush defense. Though the Patriots defense played better against the run in recent weeks, Byron Cowart being on the COVID/Reserve list is not ideal. The Patriots are supremely thin at defensive tackle. The fact that Denver will get back running back Phillip Lindsay this week is a blessing for the offense. If New England can limit Lindsay then the Broncos offense is in trouble, regardless of Drew Lock coming back. Jerry Jeudy is going to be tremendous but I expect him to have a rough go of it vs. J.C. Jackson. I also think Stephon Gilmore will erase Tim Patrick.
Defensively, Denver has a better front than expected. Shelby Harris has been phenomenal this season, as has Mike Purcell (who’s been limited this week) but their secondary is suspect at best. Look for Cam Newton to attack the outside cornerbacks De’Vante Bausby and Michael Ojemudia, the latter of whom really struggles at the catch point. Bryce Callahan is a nice slot player and should see a lot of Julian Edelman. That’s a favorable matchup for Edelman.
Andrew Doherty: @Patriots_Andrew
The Patriots win 30-16.
The Patriots are heavily favored in this one, and this is a game I’d expect the Patriots to win even if they were forced to play last week without Cam Newton. I don’t see the Broncos being able to consistently move the ball through the air against New England, especially with Noah Fant missing the game. Denver has been much better at defending the run than against the passing game so far this year, so expect Cam Newton and company to lean a little more on an aerial attack this week.
Let us know your predictions in the comments below!