Published: Thu, December 22, 2016
Sport | By Desiree Waters

NFL Week 15 Predictions: New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos 12/18/16

The two teams, with a history that dates back to the AFL, have met in each of the last five seasons.

Aside from the complete botching of the punt returner situation, Kubiak badly mismanaged the clock to end the first half, and was more conservative than Rush Limbaugh earlier in the second quarter. That's especially important to the Patriots, because a year ago they had to travel to Denver where they lost the AFC Championship Game. Three of the last six games in the regular-season series have gone to overtime. "We need to help this team win games". The Chiefs, who are on the verge of making the playoffs, might be coming off of a loss, but they have already knocked off the Broncos once this season.

Understandable. In the past three games Broncos' opponents have scored only three touchdowns - one each by Jacksonville, Tennessee and New England and Tom Brady.

The New England Patriots stonewalled the Denver Broncos time after time on Sunday and have a commanding lead in the AFC. The victory improved the Patriots to 12-2 on the season, secured a first-round bye in the 2017 NFL Playoffs, and pushed Bill Belichick's team within striking distance of securing home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Trevor Siemian finished 25 of 40 for 282 yards, hamstrung by an ineffective rushing attack and failing to get his offense untracked against the Patriots. But this year, that might not be enough. Lewis rushed for personal highs in carries (18) and yards (95). The Broncos, despite still having one of the best defenses in the National Football League, have been rather ordinary of late.

The Broncos must run the football better - even if it's by using the pass to set up the run.

The Broncos' defense was sacked up to get the better of Tom Brady once again. Emmanuel Sanders was held to 3 catches for 48 yards, and is not happy about the perception that he was shut down.

In terms of the passing game, the Patriots will continue the recent trend of throwing a lot of looks at the opposing quarterback.

But consider that in the Patriots' two trips to Mile High past year, over more than eight quarters of football, Tom Brady handed the ball to a running back a combined total of 30 times. Can the defense hold off Brady one more time? Miller came into Sunday's game with 13.5 sacks.

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Brady has been magnificent at age 39, and he rarely loses at home.

But if the Patriots defeat the Jets in Week 16, then that will be their 10th win in the conference. The Patriots could have benefit from a few bounces, but they all went against New England.

Leading 16-3 midway through the fourth quarter, the Patriots got a fourth-down stop when Devin McCourty drilled Demaryius Thomas along the sideline, knocking the ball free on what would have been a first-down reception deep in New England territory.

Broncos TE A.J. Derby. The Broncos have historically not played well in Arrowhead this time of year. Denver could only manage 58 yards on the ground as the interior of the defense took away the run and the linebackers filled the holes extremely well.

This time, when Norwood fumbled, Talib walked past him. Logan Ryan picked a ideal time to snag his first interception, as he jumped an out route at the Patriots four-yard line and raced 46 yards to the Denver 46, setting up the only touchdown of the game. That's only a two-score game!

The game started in pretty ideal fashion for the Broncos.

That also was all the scoring New England would need, which the Patriots must have sensed judging by their conservative play-calling.

The Broncos reign of dominance in the AFC West is come to a halt as they will miss out on their sixth straight AFC West crown.

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