Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 5 AFC East game picks: Broncos at Patriots

Lead writer Nick St. Denis and AFC East Daily contributors Dan Begnoche, Sean Donovan and Sam Hollingsworth pick the New England Patriots' home bout with the Denver Broncos.

Nick's take:
Tom Brady holds an 8-4 edge when facing Peyton Manning, and that gap gets bigger Sunday. The Patriots finally return home to redeem themselves of the disappointing loss to the Cardinals their fans had to endure three weeks ago. A turnover-happy defense and superior quarterback play from the better signal-caller are the differences.
Prediction: Patriots 30, Broncos 23

Sam's take:
Last week versus the Raiders, we saw Peyton Manning resurrect the version of himself from five years prior, and you better believe he's looking to repeat this week in Foxborough. The Patriots' defense knows the kind of implications associated with this game, and it'll perform accordingly, including several picks of Manning.
Prediction: Patriots 42, Broncos 35

Sean's take:
The Broncos may now have Brady's all-time rival under center, but they return essentially the same defensive squad that gave up 86 points in two games last season. It'll be a game worthy of this storied matchup, but Manning will not be able to out-pace an offense that put up an unbelievable 45-point second half in Buffalo.
Prediction: Patriots 38, Broncos 31

Dan's take:
Both teams are coming off monster wins last week, both have Hall of Fame quarterbacks, both have nearly identical statistics. This matchup may come down to which defense can force a big play, and New England has been quietly putting up strong numbers, notably 11 turnovers. Expect a 300-plus yard shootout from both signal callers, with Brady winning out in the turnover category.
Prediction: Patriots 34, Broncos 24