Broncos at Patriots time, channel, final prediction: How to live stream, watch Monday night’s rescheduled game


Regularly scheduled programming isn’t common with the New England Patriots these days. For the second time in as many weeks, Bill Belichick’s club has had its game rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns. In Week 4 it revolved around a positive test by starting quarterback Cam Newton and this week it was reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, who tested positive, along with a practice squad player. 

While no other positive tests have hit the organization to this point, New England’s Week 5 contest with the Denver Broncos was shifted to Monday. This not only gives even more breathing room for the Patriots to flush out a number of tests and ensure that no other player is playing with the virus, but it also gives the team an opportunity to actually get on the practice field after going virtual all week. 

As for the Broncos, they’re waiting in the wings and that may not be such a bad thing as they’re seemingly on the doorstep of seeing second-year quarterback Drew Lock — who has been limited in practice this week — return from his right shoulder injury. Could this added time be enough to get him on the field for Week 5? That remains to be seen, but it likely doesn’t hurt. While that situation still needs to be sorted out, the starting spot under center for the Patriots is in a state of flux as well as it could be Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer, or even Jarrett Stidham that gets the nod on Monday. 

Before we dive deeper into this matchup, here’s how you can catch all the action.  

How to watch

Date: Monday, Oct. 12 | Time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 
TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
FollowCBS Sports App 

Preview

As we mentioned above, both quarterback situations are a bit murky at the moment. With the Broncos, Drew Lock seems to be nearing his return to the field following a shoulder injury. If he’s unable to go, it could be Brett Rypien, who’d get his second career start for the Broncos. He led Denver to a 37-28 win over the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football to begin Week 4, throwing for 242 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. As for the Patriots, it really revolves around Cam Newton. If he’s able to be cleared of COVID-19 symptoms prior to this game, he’s the starter. If not, then Bill Belichick has a tricky situation in front of him. Brian Hoyer — the current No. 2 quarterback on the roster — got the start in place of Newton in Kansas City last week and played poorly. Not only was he limited due to his lack of natural ability, but mental mistakes plagued him and forced Belichick to turn to Jarrett Stidham midway through the contest. Stidham showed flashes coming in under duress so it’ll be curious to see which way he leans if Newton is not ready to play. 

Elsewhere on the Broncos offense,  Melvin Gordon found his stride in Week 4, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Meanwhile receivers Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy along with tight end Noah Fant will be heavily involved in the passing attack for Denver. With the Patriots, it’ll be fascinating to see what second-year running back Damien Harris can do in his second game of the year. He made his 2020 debut in Week 4 and rushed for 100 yards on 5.9 yards per carry. If Stidham or Hoyer are back under center, Harris could be heavily leaned on. That may be a difficult task, however, as the Broncos at a top-10 unit against the run through the first quarter of the season. 

Defensively, both of these teams will be missing key pieces. The Broncos have been hit with a number of critical injuries, including the loss of franchise pass-rusher Von Miller, who suffered a significant ankle injury prior to the start of the season. Despite his absence, that hasn’t stopped the Broncos from finding some success on the defensive side of the ball, ranking just outside the top-10 in the league in DVOA (12th). With the Patriots, they’ll likely be down Stephon Gilmore as he continues to deal with COVID-19. Luckily for them, corner is arguably their deepest position as J.C. Jackon and Jason McCourty could easily slot in his absence. 

Prediction

This is really all going to fall on who is under center and who isn’t. If Cam Newton returns, the advantage goes in favor of the Patriots. Meanwhile, if Lock is back and Brian Hoyer continues to start in place of Newton, that’s less than ideal for New England. Ultimately, I’ll lean towards the Patriots here largely based on their defense. That unit held Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offense to just six points in the first half and 13 points through the first three quarters before they blew the game open in the fourth. If they give that same effort, whoever is under center won’t have to do too much to get the win. 

Score: New England 20, Denver 10 





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