[4:25 PM] Patriots @ Broncos

Who will WIN this matchup?

New England Patriots (11-2)

@ Denver Broncos (8-5)


The Patriots, coming off a 30-23 win over Baltimore on Monday night, can clinch the AFC East and a first-round bye in the postseason with a victory Sunday.

Denver is clinging to the sixth and final playoff slot in the AFC following last week’s 13-10 loss at Tennessee and faces a grueling closing stretch. Following Sunday’s matchup versus New England, the Broncos will face AFC West co-leaders Kansas City and Oakland — three teams that sport a combined 31-8 record.

Facing the league’s top-ranked defense, Brady shredded the Ravens by throwing for three touchdowns and a season high-tying 406 yards, but he acknowledged New England cannot go with a similar game plan against the Broncos. That could mean a heavy dose of running back LeGarrette Blount, who has establish career highs with 14 rushing touchdowns and 1,029 yards. New England’s defense is permitting an AFC-low 17.7 points per game.

The only thing separating Denver from a four-game losing streak was a blocked extra point that was returned against New Orleans, although three of its last four contests have been played on the road. The lack of a consistent running game has put more of an onus on quarterback Trevor Siemian, who has thrown for 702 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions over the past two games while airing it out 51 times at Tennessee last week. The Broncos have perhaps the league’s best cornerback tandem in Chris Harris Jr. and ex-Patriot Aqib Talib. Von Miller has 13.5 sacks for Denver, which dropped Brady five times in last season’s playoff win.

Brady has 21 touchdown passes and two interceptions in his last 10 games versus Denver.


StreakSmarts Pick: Denver Broncos

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick