Brock Osweiler was a big flop for Denver last week. And Neil Harvey's expecting more of the same from the under-pressure quarterback, when he faces New England ...
"The return of Brock Osweiler at quarterback is fool's gold. 'Never go back' they say. And even more so if you weren't that good the first time round. How long I ask before Trevor Siemian is put back under centre?"
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Monday November 13th, 01:30 GMT
TV - Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Broncos fading fast
Ok. So that 51-23 hammering Denver took from Philadelphia last Sunday was the worst I've seen the Broncos suffer in maybe decades. Beaten with humiliating ease by the Eagles offense, the main question that needs answering is - were the Eagles that good? Or were Denver that bad? And the answer is probably a healthy dose of both.
Because (3-5) Denver have been brushed aside four times in a row now. Their defense had been the best in the NFL (until last week), yet they were still losing. That's because the offense has been in turmoil. And that's created the added problem that the D has been left out on the field for way longer than they'd like - something exploited by the Eagles, who ran an energy-sapped Broncos secondary ragged.
The return of Brock Osweiler at quarterback is fool's gold. 'Never go back' they say. And even more so if you weren't that good the first time round. How long I ask before Trevor Siemian is put back under centre? If Osweiler couldn't unravel the Eagles secondary, there's no reason to think he'll do better against the (6-2) Patriots. And with Denver's running game looking stale, it's hard to believe CJ Anderson will carry this team to victory.
Four straight losses is too big a trend to ignore. The margin of defeat has been an average of 18 points. 18!! I gave them the benefit of the doubt last week. But not again. And not against Tom Brady and wily head coach Bill Belichick. Make no mistake, Brady is still playing at his very best, hence the decision to let Jimmy Garoppolo go.
Pats to show no remorse
He has no Chris Hogan because of injury. Which is a blow. But Brandin Cooks looks primed to take advantage and offer that deep ball threat, while Danny Amendola dose his thing in the slot. Oh, and there's the small matter of Rob Gronkowski and his five touchdowns to date. Throw in pass catching backs James White and Dion Lewis, and New England have an entire armoury of weapons at their disposal in the passing game.
Denver's home games haven't been that high scoring so far. But then they weren't so desperate as they are now. And they didn't have Osweiler under centre. There's a pungent stench of desperation about the Broncos right now. The changed their QB. And he came in and threw for just 208 yards and two interceptions against a fairly weak secondary. The panic must be palpable going into this week.
So it has to be New England all the way for me. Look for them to push hard in the first half. Then eat up the clock in the second. While Devontae Booker is getting increasing opportunities for Denver. Look out for him to bag some consolation yards from the backfield.
5pts New England (-3.5) to win at half time @ [1.96]
1pt Gronkowski to score 1st touchdown @ [8.00]
4pts First half to be highest scoring half @ 8/11
3pts Cooks receiving yards Over 56.5 @ 5/6
3pts Devontae Booker rushing and receiving yards Over 46.5 @ 5/6
3pts New England to win by 1-13 pts @ 7/5