By Marc Mandell

Mile High Magic. Some how, some way the Denver Broncos do what so many others can’t. That is to beat Tom Brady, and his dark overlord, Bill Belichick. In fact, Denver is the only team these two have a losing record to. New England is 2-7 against the Broncos in Denver. We all remember what happened the last two times the Patriots came to town right? The first went to overtime, and the other decided who would rep the AFC in Super Bowl 50. Granted, those were different teams but still 2-7. So will Sunday be any different? Can the Broncos beat the Patriots?

The short answer, yes. Yes, the Broncos will beat the Pats. I strongly believe that the Denver Broncos will play the most complete game of their season on Sunday afternoon. Between a near perfect performance, and a strong potent dose of Mile High Magic, Denver will beat TB12 and Co. Think I’m crazy don’t you? Well let’s just take a look shall we.

Last season, the Denver defense held Brady to just 280 yards on 42 attempts. Granted he threw 3 TD’s, but 1 of those came at the end of the game and the other was in overtime. Denver consistently had pressure on Brady, forcing bad throws and generally made his life hell all afternoon. I know Denver doesn’t have Malik Jackson this season, but I feel, deep in my heart of hearts, that it just won’t matter this year. Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, and the rest of the no fly zone will shut down Brady all day long.

Here’s the other reason they will shut down Mr. Tommy Boy. He won’t be throwing a whole bunch. It’s going to be an enormous helping of the running game. If you have LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis or James White on your fantasy team, go ahead and start them. They will get the ball, a lot. They are going to get the yards, but they will not score. If you are unfamiliar with Belichick, he prefers to scheme to each team, rather than run a specific system. If you and I know that Denver struggles with the run, than you better believe Lord Vader knows. He will scheme for run, run, and more run this week. Blount will bruise, White will wheel and Lewis will dance. They have three different backs that excel at what they were signed for.

I am writing this as the Rams are playing the Seahawks, at least Denver doesn’t have Goff for the QB right? My goodness he looks bad. What’s more is, even if you think that Kubiack’s system is archaic, he is still a better coach than half the ones with the matching title out there in the league. Jeff Fisher, who is a capital idiot, is no exception. Would you rather have that for a coach? I didn’t think so.

Anyway, back to most important match-up for the Broncos this year. So we know that Denver will get a lot of running game from the Pats, but is there anything else that New England can bring to the Mile High City? Well not really, aside from Brady. Gronk on IR certainly bodes well for Denver, and Bennett is good, but he is no Gronk. The receiving core doesn’t really put fear in the belly either, does it? The Broncos secondary is better one-on-one than any Patriots receiver, even Edelman.

I’m guessing you are wondering how the Broncos are going to beat the wicked good east coastahs. Well, I’m thinking about the one thing that Denver has not been able to get going all season, aside from a couple of games. If it’s a massive grip, from Kubaick breaking everybody’s balls, or a complete scream session from the other coaches, I feel that the run game will finally click. Booker will have 90 yards on 19 carries and Forsett will have 56 yards on 13 carries. Denver will beat up the Pats defense, and Siemian will do the rest. Let me explain.

You see, I refuse to believe that an offensive line can be this bad, this often. No way on god’s green earth, the o-line for Denver can be this bad right?! I mean look, I know they are garbage, but eventually, at some point, no matter how awful, every NFL Player and o-line has to have one good game. Because they haven’t had one yet, how perfect would it be to have it against the best team in the NFL this week? They can’t suck this hard for this long. It is literally impossible. To put it another way, if the o-line of Denver blows it again, that’s it for the season. No win on Sunday, and that’s most likely curtains for the Super Bowl 50 Champs. So don’t blow it fellas!!!! We’ve had enough of your shenanigans!! Enough of the vigorous inhaling! You know……sucking.

If Denver can get it going on the ground, look for DT, ManSand and AJ Derby to have good days. Derby especially. Siemian is putting together quite a good second half to the season, and I see no indication he will be stopping. He has the full playbook, and can make every single throw. His timing with the receivers is on point, and ball placement is terrific. I keep hearing people question his ceiling. My thought is that, how high does it need be?! With a good to great defense and a decent running game, he doesn’t need to be Montana or Elway or Brady. He can be Dalton, or Flacco. If, on Sunday, he is a Flacco or Dalton, and if the Broncos can run the ball, Denver will win this game, and improve their chances of post season glory.

Bottom line is that the Broncos can’t muck about any longer. It is now or never. Room for error has evaporated. This will go one of two ways for Denver. The first is that, Denver plays the best ball they have all season get the W and keep their playoff hopes alive, or they continue their quest for the most three and outs in a season and lose in horrific fashion. Oh, and if it is the latter, the rift between the offense and the defense that has been building this year will no longer be quiet. Mouth’s will be-a-runnin.

Final Score, NE 21 – 24 DEN