Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
The delay should allow some of the injured Broncos to get back on the field who may not have otherwise played against the Patriots.
In this usual space, you would see our staff preview and keys to the Denver Broncos game.
Since it’s 2020, we already did that for the Broncos and New England Patriots. The game was postponed to Sunday after positive COVID-19 tests from the Patriots. So instead of rehashing that story from last week, I’m taking a slightly altered version for Sunday’s game.
BetMGM currently has the Broncos at a 10-point underdog. Given quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore will probably play, that’s not a surprise. Add in the fact that Bill Belichick has had more time to prepare for Drew Lock and Denver’s offense, the line makes sense.
On the MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I are a little more optimistic about Denver’s chances — at least to cover the spread. Speaking of which …
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Denver: Twenty-ninth in overall offense (306.8 yards per game), 29th in rushing (92.5), 27th in passing (214.3), 28th in scoring offense (20.5 points per game).
New England: Eighth in overall offense (396.0 yards per game), second in rushing (179.8), 24th in passing (216.3), 22nd in scoring offense (24.3).
Denver: Sixteenth in overall in defense (365.3 yards per game), 13th in rushing defense (109.0), 22nd in passing defense (256.3), 14th in scoring defense (24.5 points per game).
New England: Eleventh overall defense (349.0 yards per game), 18th in rushing defense (115.3), 12th in passing defense (233.8), 12th in scoring defense (23.0).
As for the preview, the reason I’m optimistic that the Broncos will cover is because of who they could get back. On top of Lock, Denver could get KJ Hamler, Noah Fant and Phillip Lindsay back on offense. On defense, the Broncos could see the return of A.J. Bouye and Jeremiah Attachou.
At least offensively, the more weapons Lock has the better. Of course it doesn’t help that Melvin Gordon was charged with a DUI, so who knows his availability. That just makes the return of Lindsay even more important.
The other huge factor in Sunday’s game is turnovers.
Not to beat a dead horse, but Denver has to win the turnover battle. If the Broncos want to increase their success rate, they have to create turnovers and not commit them (thanks, John Madden).
Perhaps it’s the orange and blue goggles. Perhaps it’s the fact it’ll be over two weeks since the Broncos played that has made me more optimistic. Perhaps it’s the possible return of Lock. After all, I did predict on the podcast that the Buffalo Bills would beat the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs. Oops.
But I do think, at the very least, the Broncos will cover on Sunday. I think Denver will make it a close game.