What you need to know about Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos game

Tom Brady looks down the field for a receiver under pressure by defensive end Billy Winn of the Denver Broncos in the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

NEW ENGLAND (6-2) at DENVER (3-5)

Sunday, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Opening line: Patriots by 6

Record vs. spread: New England 4-4, Denver 2-5-1

Series record: Broncos lead 30-22

Last meeting: Patriots beat Broncos 16-3, Dec. 18, 2016

Last week: Patriots bye, beat Chargers 21-13 on Oct. 29; Broncos lost to Eagles 51-23

AP Pro32 ranking: Patriots No. 3, Broncos No. 25

Patriots offense: Overall (1), rush (16), pass (1)

Patriots defense: Overall (32), rush (24), pass (32)

Broncos offense: Overall (17), rush (14), pass (19)

Broncos defense: Overall (2), rush (5), pass (4)

Streaks, stats, and notes

New England

  • Patriots are seeking 12th consecutive regular-season road win, which would tie their own AFC record.
  • Bill Belichick is 8-10 against Denver.
  • Tom Brady has 1,007 yards passing in last three road games with six touchdowns.
  • Brady is 3-7 in his career at Denver but has eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in last five trips to the Mile High city.
  • Since 2016, Brady has 44 touchdowns and four interceptions for best ratio in NFL.
  • James White’s 43 catches rank second among league’s running backs.
  • Rob Gronkowski has 199 receiving yards and three touchdowns in last two road games.
  • Brandin Cooks had 98 yards and a touchdown in only career meeting against Broncos on Nov. 13, 2016, while he was with Saints.


  • Brock Osweiler makes first home start for Broncos since January 2016. This will be Osweiler’s first start at Sports Authority Field since October 2016, when he made his return to Denver with the Houston Texans.
  • Demaryius Thomas caught a touchdown pass last week, ending a 13-game drought dating back to November 2016.
  • Thomas averages 92.2 yards receiving in nine career games versus Patriots, including playoffs.
  • Broncos are minus-12 in turnovers with 19 giveaways and seven takeaways.
  • Running back C.J. Anderson had 153 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in his last game against New England, a 30-24 overtime win in 2015.
  • As a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles had 108 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in his last game against Patriots in September 2014.
  • Von Miller has 7½ sacks, two forced fumbles, fumble recovery and interception in last six meetings. Miller’s 81½ sacks are most in NFL since he entered league in 2011.
  • Fantasy tip: Even though Patriots are dead last in NFL against pass, expect the Broncos’ offensive coordinator Mike McCoy to dial down three-receiver formations, bunch it up and get ball into the hands of Anderson, Charles and Devontae Booker against league’s 24th-ranked run defense.