Broncos Vs Pats: NFL Monday Night Prediction

Nik ScaliseContributor IOctober 20, 2008

Monday Night:  Denver at New England (-3) and 48    

In tonight's matchup, 2/3 of action is on Denver.  Strangely this is the opposite from what NE has received in years past the public's gem.  Goes to show what people think of Cassel!

Denver has 2 division wins, most importantly against SD and the KC loss that I do not think will be a major factor. New England is not in as bad of a spot as people may think.  They have yet to play the leading Bills and beat the Jets already.  Luckily, Miami is fading so the loss to them may not be all that bad.

Where is any of the motivation here? I would think the Pats want to give Cassel every reason to get on track against the lowly Denver's defense.  If they cannot move the ball around and produce some points at home tonight then you can forget the Pats the rest of the way.  What concerns me is the team moral.  Do they even think they can win a playoff game with this QB?  Even if they get to the playoffs, will they even be competitive?  The AFC is strange this year as all the potential Wilcard teams are average at best, so maybe, just maybe if they come out tonight and dominate, it turns this team around.

Key injuries: 
NE Maroney - clearly effects the play action and stable ground game
DEN Sheffler, Stokely and Royal

Cutler has MAJOR problems without 80% of his pass offense.  Marshal is his only reliable target due to the injuries and it seriously effects Denver offense.  He cannot rely on Pittman out of backfield and Marshall all day.  Against Jacksonville, who has a terrible pass defense, Cutler had trouble moving the ball after Stokley went down with concussion early.

What we know about NE:

1.  Matt Cassel year to date is bad to quite bad
2.  Offensive line is crumbling and giving up 18 sacks on the year, 6 teams only worst than that mark
3.  Defense is looking old and have not put much of any pressure on QBs
4.  Embarrassed on national TV last Sunday night
5.  Last decade have been the public team to bet

What we know about Denver
1.  Cutler is coming into his own, great pass attack (with key players)
2.  Pittman is picking up for running injuries, runs hard like Barber
3.  Defense is disgraceful
4.  Offensive line is one of the best protecting Cutler, 2 sacks on the year

What to take:

No real coaching edges other than Bill is only 2-5 against Denver since he has been with NE.
Denver is 1-4-1 ATS while NE is 2-3-1.  I do not like the fact that Denver is due to cover.

Given the much needed win and performance for Cassel, Bill's unwillingness to get embarrassed again, public betting down NE to -3 from -4.5 and Denver with the many questions to availability of their offensive threats for tonight.

Pats -3, Under 48  

I mean, when was the last time NE last 2 games in a row????

Denver Offense
Pts 6th (27.7)
Passing 2nd
Rushing 11th
Sacks (2)

New England Offense
Pts 25th (17.8)
Passing 24th
Rushing 17th
Sacks (18)

Denver Defense
Pts 25th (25)
Passing 32nd
Rushing 25th
Sacks (10)

New England Defense
Pts 15th (21.8)
Passing 15th
Rushing 20th
Sacks (7)


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