The second half of the Patriots’ 2017 starts at the closest thing Tom Brady has to a house of horrors — Mile High Stadium (or whatever it’s called now). Brady has had three playoff runs end in Denver (2005, 2013, 2015), which ties the number of playoff losses he’s had at home (2009, 2010, 2012).
The three recent losses, two in the playoffs and the overtime bummer against the quarterback they’ll face Sunday, make it seem like the Broncos rivalry is a big deal. But after their Super Bowl win, the Broncos have been on a slow-to-medium descent, which has them at 3-5, losers of four straight. Their once-feared defense just gave up 51 points to the Eagles, and despite a poor performance, they’ll start Brock Osweiler for a second week in a row.
Still, it’s hard to take much solace in how the Broncos have stumbled recently. Their three wins were all over three pretty good teams — Chargers, Cowboys and Raiders, and if there’s one team Denver will be up for, it’s New England.
Here’s a look at the Broncos and why I think this one will be closer than many of us expect or hope.