BOSTON (CBS) — The 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and WBZ-TV Sports teams make their predictions for Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos tilt at Gillette Stadium

Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub

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This is the first time in the last seven years that I’ve felt comfortable going into a game against Peyton Manning because of the secondary. It’s the first time since then that they’ve got a secondary where you can say “boy, they really match up across the front.” The Patriots have to be multiple and mix things up on defense, keep Manning off-balance, and counter that with a pretty good running and play action game.

Patriots 31, Broncos 24

Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub

It’s the game of the year for the Patriots, no matter how you look at it.

Denver comes in completely loaded with a lot of confidence, but I like the way the Patriots played last week and how they’re trending.

This game is why you went out and got Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. This is where Bill Belichick has to win the day; he has to really scheme it up to change it on Manning.

I think the Patriots will do just enough to win this one.

Patriots 28, Broncos 26

Jon Wallach, 98.5 The Sports Hub

This one is going to come down to whether or not the Patriots defense can slow down the Denver offense. Actually, any game against Denver is about slowing down that offense.

The question is how many points will Denver score. They will score at least 20; I think in 53 career games as quarterback of the Broncos, Peyton Manning has only failed to produce 20 points twice — one coming in the Super Bowl last year.

The problem is the Patriots have not faced an offense or a quarterback like this. Not even close. The best quarterback they’ve faced was Andy Dalton, which is about half speed when it comes to comparing him to Peyton Manning. The question is now whether or not, across the board, the Patriots pass defense can handle all those Denver wide receivers. You can put Darrelle Revis on Demaryius Thomas and lock him, but Browner against Julius Thomas and Logan Ryan against Manny Sanders scares me.

I don’t know if the Patriots defense, having not seen an offense like this, can slow Denver down enough to win this game.  I think Denver is the better team across the board. They can run the football, and I don’t know if the Patriots D is good enough.

Broncos 28, Patriots 24

Rob “Hardy” Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Only two safeties this week and the game will end in a tie.

Patriots 2, Broncos 2

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Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

I think this game, like most, will be won or lost in the trenches. The “W” will go to the team with the more successful offensive line.

I think the Patriots win that battle.

Patriots 36, Broncos 30 (in OT)

Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports

The Patriots come in off their best performance of the season and are riding a four-game winning streak. Tom Brady and his offense have become a smooth machine. Meanwhile, the Broncos look unstoppable as they also ride a four-game winning streak and they look even better than a season ago (especially on defense).

With that said, even though the game is at home and weather may be a factor, I think Denver is firing on all cylinders right now and will keep on rolling.

Broncos 34, Patriots 24

Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports

It’s Brady vs. Manning XVI, and there are a bunch of factors that will come in to play in this one. But first and foremost, we may never see this again: Two 150-win quarterbacks facing off against each other. That is an unbelievable stat for two guys who have been at the top of their class for years.

As for the game itself, there’s a lot to look in to. Peyton will bring all those checks at the line with him, but the Pats have become accustomed to all of that chatter.

The offseason additions by New England will get a dry run on Sunday. Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner will see how they match up against this Broncos offense. Can they slow down Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and do the Pats have enough to contain Julius Thomas?

Denver spent the offseason trying to get tougher. Will bringing in Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware make them tougher? Will safety T.J. Ward keep the Pats from running across the middle? Both teams realize that they may see each other down the road, so making an impression on Sunday will be relevant.

The bottom line is the Pats have to win this game. They have a tougher road ahead and they have this one at home. It will be cold and there may even be some snow. Denver will probably still host the AFC Championship game because their schedule gets easier as the season moves on.

Everything is a factor in this one, but winning at home before a bye means emptying the tank for the Pats. This will be a Tom Brady to Julian Edelman, with some Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola sprinkled in. Expect the Pats defense to let up a lot of yards on the ground but win in the passing game.

Patriots 30, Broncos 27

Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on WBZ-TV at 11:30am with Patriots GameDay, and on 98.5FM at 1:30pm. Following the game, switch over to myTV38 for Patriots 5th Quarter, and stay tuned on the Hub for three full hours of postgame reaction and analysis!

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