ESPN Boston's picks: Patriots-Broncos
| Tedy |
| PATRIOTS 30, BRONCOS 27 (OT) |
There are so many similarities between this game and the old Patriots-Colts games. Just Peyton Manning now wears orange, and Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have turned into Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. One thing has remained the same: These quarterbacks will never stop battling. Even after Manning threw three interceptions in the first quarter against the undefeated Falcons, the result was a loss by only six points This game will be close, and, in the end, someone has to make a play. And that someone will be Stephen Gostkowski. Patriots win in overtime on a Gostkowski field goal.
| Mike |
|PATRIOTS 35, BRONCOS 31 |
It's a Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning quarterback duel for the 13th time, and I think both offenses should be able to move the ball. It's hard to envision the defenses being able to keep both of these attacks down for long stretches of time. Teams have moved the ball against the Patriots, but as it often does when these two quarterbacks meet, I think it's going to come down to one play and who makes it. In the previous meeting, it was safety James Sanders with a big interception late. I think the Patriots will find a way to make that play at home.
| Jackie |
|PATRIOTS 24, BRONCOS 20 |
These two quarterbacks rarely disappoint and they won't on Sunday.
| Mike |
|PATRIOTS 27, BRONCOS 24 |
Another close one for the Patriots. This is a different Broncos team than the one that lost 45-10 to the Patriots in January. This one feels like it could go the way of the previous Brady-Manning matchup, in November 2010. On that day, Manning threw 52 times for 396 yards and four touchdowns, trading jabs with Brady as the game progressed. It took a Sanders interception, one of Manning's three in the game, to seal a 31-28 Patriots victory. Who steps up for the Patriots on Sunday, like Sanders did?
| Field |
|PATRIOTS 31, BRONCOS 22 |
The playing field between the Patriots and Broncos was evened considerably when Denver landed Manning in free agency this offseason, but a gap between the two rosters still exists. Notably, the Broncos' secondary remains an area that Brady should be able to attack, and if his offensive line can keep him upright, he should have little issue driving the football downfield to his receivers and tight ends. Although Manning and his offense will have some success, it won't be enough, especially on the road. Look for the Patriots to improve to 3-2.
| Madden 13 |
|BRONCOS 31, PATRIOTS 28 |
Think about the greatest AFC rivalries in the past decade, and the Colts versus Patriots instantly comes to mind, thanks to the dueling quarterback play of Manning and Brady. And now that Peyton has changed teams, he brings the rivalry with him as his Broncos take out Tom and the Pats, 31-28. Manning throws for 301 yards and two touchdowns, hitting Demaryius Thomas seven times for 134 of those yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to help the Broncos pull out the exciting win.
| AccuScore |
|PATRIOTS 32, BRONCOS 24 |
The Patriots won 70 percent of more than 10,000 AccuScore simulations. Manning is averaging one interception per simulation, while Brady is averaging .5 picks. In simulations in which Manning does not have any interceptions and Brady throws at least one, Denver is a 52 percent favorite. However, if Manning has one or more INTs, the Broncos have only a 23 percent chance of winning. The X-factor is the running game: In simulations, the Patriots have a plus-40-yard edge in that department over Denver.
| ESPN |
|PATRIOTS OVER BRONCOS |
Ten of the 12 ESPN experts pick the Patriots to beat the Broncos. Only Chris Mortensen and Mark Schlereth pick the Broncos.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Mike Reiss first started covering the Patriots in 1997 with the team's official newspaper, Patriots Football Weekly, before moving on to the MetroWest Daily News in his hometown of Framingham. From 2005 to 2009, he covered the Patriots for The Boston Globe, while also writing on the NFL. He started his popular Patriots blog in 2004. Send any questions or comments for Mike to his mailbag. Follow him on Twitter (@MikeReiss).
Mike Rodak began covering the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com in July 2010. A native of Grafton, Mass., Mike attended Providence College. Follow him on Twitter (@mikerodak)
Field Yates begins his contributions to ESPNBoston.com in 2012 after having written for a number of football-related sites around the web. Field began his professional career after college with the Kansas City Chiefs, working in both the scouting and coaching departments of the franchise before redirecting his focus to a career in media. He also interned for four summers in the coaching and scouting departments with the Patriots. Follow him on Twitter (@FieldYates).