Broncos scouting report: How Denver matches up against Patriots and predictions


Denver Broncos (1-3) at New England Patriots (2-2), Monday, 3:05 p.m. MT, Gillette Stadium, ESPN, 850 AM, 94.1 FM, 103.5 FM

3 Things to watch

1. Broncos QB situation. Drew Lock has been progressing from the right shoulder injury that’s had the Broncos quarterback sidelined since the first quarter of Week 2. Coach Vic Fangio’s indicated he will only play Lock if he believes the shoulder is completely healed, with Brett Rypien in line for his second straight start if Lock can’t go. Either way, there are lots of questions: Can Rypien deliver another W on the road? Will it take time for Lock to settle back in if he plays?

2. Patriots QB situation. New England starter Cam Newton missed the Patriots’ Week 4 loss to the Chiefs due to coronavirus, and reserve signal-callers Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham combined for three interceptions and plenty of ineptitude in the defeat. Whether Newton can be cleared for Monday’s postponed game — he must test negative for COVID-19 twice, and those two tests must come at least 24 hours apart — will be a big factor in the potency of New England’s offense.

3. Dalton Keene watch. The Littleton native and Chatfield High product was selected by the Patriots in the third round (No. 101 overall) of April’s draft. But the former Virginia Tech standout has yet to make his NFL debut, as he’s been inactive for four straight games, the last two as a healthy scratch. There’s a possibility Keene could finally see the field against his hometown team, especially considering the Patriots’ lack of production at tight end so far.

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Who has the edge?

When the Patriots run

New England’s ground game has been sound, averaging 179.8 yards to rank second in the NFL. Starting tailback Sony Michel is on injured reserve, but the Patriots have additional depth in Damien Harris, James White and Rex Burkhead.

Edge: Patriots

When the Patriots pass

Without Newton, Hoyer and Stidham don’t bring much to the table, although wideouts Julian Edelman, Damiere Byrd and N’Keal Harry all have big-play potential. Rookie cornerback Michael Ojemudia will …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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