BOSTON (CBS) – The CBS Boston sports team makes their predictions for the New England Patriots big matchup in Denver against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
It is crunch time in the NFL, that time of year when the better teams find a way to win.
The Patriots have flourished in December. They have traditionally found a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Kind of like what the Denver Broncos are experiencing this year with quarterback Tim Tebow. The much-maligned southpaw has led his team to six straight wins; most in dramatic fashion (three games were settled in overtime).
Read: Pats-Broncos Preview
The Patriots have a QB who knows a thing or 12 (get it?) about fourth quarter comebacks. Tom Brady has engineered a few while at the helm of the good ship Patriots.
However, both players will be the first to tell you that they can’t – and don’t – get the job done without the help of their teammates. That means all of their teammates who toil on both sides of the ball.
This season has been a little different for Brady and the offense. The defense has struggled. It has given up more plays in excess of 20 yards than any other team in the NFL.
The Patriots have succeeded this season because the offense has been able to exploit virtually every defense it faces. It will need to do that in Denver, as well. The best way to keep Tebow from engineering any last-minute heroics is to make the margin so large he doesn’t have a prayer, so to speak.
The Broncos have a solid defense but not solid enough to contain Brady and his offense. In the end, it will be the Patriots quarterback taking a knee and it won’t be a genuflection reflection. It will be to watch the final seconds tick off the scoreboard for their 11th win of the season.
Patriots 41, Broncos 24
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots head to Denver, which is never a fun place for Tom Brady. In fact, he is just 1-5 career against the Broncos.
The Pats have to play all 60-minutes on Sunday or Tim Tebow will make them pay. The kid just gets it done in the fourth quarter. The offense needs to get ahead early and take any “Tebow Magic” out of the equation.
With Deion Branch out, I hope Chad Ochocinco can factor into the Patriots offense. There is no doubt Rob Gronkowski will have a big game, but it would be nice to see Ocho finally get involved. While the Broncos defense has played well, Brady should exorcise his Mile High demons and put up Brady-like numbers.
Stats: Pats-Broncos Head to Head
The Pats defense will have a tough test containing Tebow, and need to make him throw. As bad as the New England secondary has been, Tebow has been just as bad throwing the ball. The guys on the line will have to make sure they contain him, and when he gets to them make sure he goes down. Don’t be surprised if the Pats have someone spying on Tebow throughout the afternoon.
This game should be a fun one to watch, just as long as it isn’t close in the end. It’s been great watching these Denver comebacks from afar, but no one wants to see another one this weekend.
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
I would love to see this game live up to the non-stop hype it received this week,
Part of me thinks that the Patriots will win fairly comfortably because Denver hasn’t faced many good teams during this Tebow-led 7-1 run. The best team they faced was a Jets team that was reeling and coming off a Sunday night game and had to pay on a Thursday night.
With that said, Tim Tebow and the Broncos are a dangerous team. They believe in him. He makes plays when he has to and others around him respond. Granted, Chicago running back Marian Barber gave Denver a chance by running out-of-bounds when Denver couldn’t stop the clock last week. But, give credit to Denver. The team (yes, team) led by Tebow took advantage and pulled out a win.
The one factor here is the Patriots have their own weapon/leader/competitor in Tom Brady. Brady can win this game…maybe more so thanTebow. He has to play well.
Can the Pats defense stop Tebow? Yes. For 60 minutes? Probably not. I see the Pats hanging on…..barely.
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
Okay, I know the hype around Tim Tebow and this game. First and foremost, Tebow has done a great job of helping the Broncos turn their fortunes around. He was a winner in college and he is showing that he can be a winner in the pros.
The Pats though are built to beat a team like this. Outside of last week, they have been very good against the run. They should have problems with Willis McGahee and Tebow but not struggle.
After last weeks tussle on the sideline, Tom Brady has someting to prove and he will go for it early. Pats put up points and take Denver out of their gameplan. They win this one.
Tune in to the Patriots-Broncos game Sunday on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub at 4:15pm. Pregame coverage begins Sunday morning at 11:30am on WBZ-TV with Patriots Gameday; pregame coverage on the Hub begins at 1pm. After the game, tune in to The Postgame Show on 98.5 and Patriots Fifth Quarter on MyTV38.