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BOSTON (CBS) – The 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBZ-TV and WBZ NewsRadio1030 sports teams make their predictions for the Patriots’ bit Sunday night showdown with the Denver Broncos at Gillette.
Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The team that scores more than 36 points in this one wins. I’m not going to pick a team in this one, because I have no clue how it’s going to go.
Weather can be an issue and there is going to be a wind chill in the single digits. The wind could also be a factor, and if that’s the case and it comes down to the running game, I’m taking the Patriots. They simply run the ball better than Denver does.
But whoever scores more than 36 points will win this game.
Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub
This is a very difficult game to handicap because you don’t really know what defensive personnel you’re going to get for the Patriots.
I think Devin McCourty becomes a big factor in this game because of his ability to match-up against tight ends, and I also think Dont’e Hightower is big in this one.
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The Patriots will have a big advantage in running the football against this Denver team. Given the way they lost to Carolina, something tells me they’ll find a way to win a game that will probably be in the 30’s. If they don’t, get ready for Wild Card weekend.
This is no lock; I feel worse about this one than I did about Carolina.
Patriots 35, Broncos 33
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio1030
Broncos 44, Patriots 30
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
This Broncos team reminds me a lot of the 2007 Patriots team that steamrolled to a 16-0 regular season. Peyton Manning has thrown 34 touchdown passes in leading Denver to a 9-1 record and has spread the ball around to a wealth of receivers and backs. This is not a great match-up for an injury-decimated Pats’ defense, especially the linebackers against the likes of Wes Welker, Julius Thomas or any of the Bronco running backs coming over the middle.
The one way it appears that you have a shot in beating Denver is via a shootout, something Tom Brady is quite capable of orchestrating. Brady’s Pats have averaged 31 points per game against Manning’s teams in their 10 regular season meetings. You would figure he’ll have to hit that number, maybe more, to win this.
Preview: Expect Shootout On Sunday Night
The other factors? Home field, the weather, and turnovers.
Patriots 38, Broncos 34
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
A few week’s ago, I actually penciled this game in as a Patriots loss. I figured Denver’s high powered offense would be a bit overwhelming. Then all of a sudden, the Broncos slowed down and now they look beatable.
The Pats game-plan against the Carolina Panthers is probably the same plan they will use on Sunday night; grind it out and keep the opposing quarterback off the field. The difference with this one is it’s here at Foxboro and mother nature will also be on their side.
It’s going to be cold — perfect Patriot weather. I think Peyton Manning shows up to play but many of the weapons he’s used to having take the day off.
The Pats can’t lose two games in a row, and I do get the feeling they will handle their business in what will be the best game of the year.
Patriots 28, Broncos 27
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