Patriots-Broncos What To Watch For: The Return Of Cam Newton

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By Matthew Geagan, CBS dangolka

dangolka (CBS) – The Patriots will welcome within the 1-Three Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Hopefully it’s this Sunday.

The sport was initially scheduled for final Sunday, then modified to Monday early night, earlier than in the end being pushed to Week 6. Now we wait to see what the NFL will do after the Patriots had one other optimistic check on Friday. It looks as if the league goes to do every part it could actually to play the sport, however COVID might produce other plans.

But when it does get performed, a minimum of that week delay means the Patriots may have Cam Newton — and sure Stephon Gilmore — again within the fold for Sunday’s tilt. However Friday’s optimistic check means the Pats may have had simply two practices within the final two weeks, which isn’t the very best of how to organize for a soccer recreation.

No less than the Pats are dealing with a Broncos workforce that isn’t excellent. That lone win of theirs got here in opposition to the Jets, so it doesn’t really matter as a win.

Right here’s what we’ll be looking ahead to when Patriots soccer lastly returns — we hope — on Sunday.

The Return

Cam Newton is anticipated to be again at quarterback, saving the Patriots and New England followers from one other recreation of the Brian Hoyer/Jarrett Stidham mess. Rejoice!

It will likely be attention-grabbing to see how Cam takes care of having the final two weeks off as he handled COVID. He was one of many fortunate ones to undergo it asymptomatically, and he was capable of be a part of the workforce of their distant conferences, however two weeks away from soccer is 2 weeks away from soccer. He had an opportunity to knock off a few of the rust in apply, however it’ll be a bit completely different in recreation motion. His conditioning might be one thing to observe all through the sport.

Fortunate for him and the remainder of the New England offense, the Broncos aren’t excellent. The Pats shouldn’t have any points with the Broncos protection, whether or not New England opts for a rush-heavy assault or lets Newton sling the pigskin across the subject. Denver is permitting solely 109 rush yards per recreation, however they’re about to see a complete new beast within the Patriots. If Sam Darnold may scamper for a 46-yard landing in opposition to the Denver D, simply think about what Cam Newton will be capable to do with some contemporary legs.

It’ll be good to see how Damien Harris follows up his 100-yard night in opposition to the Chiefs, and it could be good to see Rex Burkhead bounce his approach into the top zone few extra occasions.

And seeing as if the Broncos are surrendering 256 passing yards per recreation, anticipate New England’s air assault to have an enormous day as effectively. Welcome again, Cam. Go have your self a day.

Dropping In With Jules

There is no such thing as a denying that Julian Edelman is a gamer, a man who provides it every part he’s received every time he’s on the sphere. He’s normally fairly dependable, however to date this season, that has not been the case.

Over the primary 4 weeks, Edelman has dropped 5 passes, probably the most within the NFL to date this season. It hasn’t been fairly. His drop in opposition to the Chiefs that led to a Kansas Metropolis pick-six ended any slim shot the Patriots had at making a comeback in Week 4.

“It’s not the primary time I dropped a ball, it in all probability received’t be the final. I imply, that is soccer,” Edelman instructed WEEI on Friday. “They’re unacceptable. It’s one thing it’s important to repair. That’s what we’re doing in apply. That’s what I’m making an attempt to do on a regular basis. Your job as a receiver is get open and catch the ball. I let my workforce down a bit bit final week. I’m wanting ahead to exit this week and attempt to assist them.”

He nonetheless leads the workforce in targets (30), receiving yards (294) and is tied with N’Keal Harry with probably the most receptions (18). So Edelman continues to be very a lot a huge a part of the offense. He simply isn’t as dependable as he as soon as was, which may change at any second. Nevertheless it’s one thing we’ll be watching all through the remainder of the season.

Denver’s Solely Risk

Denver actually solely has one risk at receiver, and that’s rookie Jerry Jeudy. The 15th general choose leads the Broncos with 234 receiving yards by way of three weeks, averaging a strong 15.6 yards per reception. He has 5 receptions of 20 yards or extra.

He had simply two receptions in Week 4, however a kind of was a stupendous leaping snag that resulted in a 48-yard landing. Not a nasty solution to rating the primary landing of your profession.

The 6-foot-1, 193-pound Jeudy normally traces up within the slot, but when Stephon Gilmore fits up. he’ll doubtless be blanketing the rookie for almost all of Sunday’s recreation.

Getting After Whoever Is At QB For Denver

Had the Patriots and Broncos performed final Sunday (or Monday), the New England protection would have seen Brett Rypien at QB for Denver. However the week break means they’ll doubtless be coping with Drew Lock, who missed Denver’s final two video games with a shoulder damage. He’s questionable for the sport, however Vic Fangio expects him to play.

However actually, does it even matter? Lock? Rypien? We’re simply arguing semantics right here.

Whoever it’s taking snaps at QB for the Broncos, they’re in all probability going to seek out themselves beneath some misery all through Sunday’s recreation.  The Patriots aren’t essentially a pass-rush machine, with simply six sacks on the season, however the Broncos offensive line hasn’t completed a lot to guard its quarterbacks this season.

Rypien wasn’t sacked by the Jets in that Thursday night time win, however he was hit 10 occasions. Within the two video games prior, Broncos quarterbacks had been sacked 13 occasions — six occasions in opposition to the Buccaneers and 7 occasions in opposition to the Steelers.

Chase Winovich (2.5 sacks in his final three video games) should be sick of hitting that punching bag in his home and might be champing on the bit to get after a quarterback once more. The Pats in all probability received’t have six sacks on Sunday, however they’ll make Lock really feel the strain every time he drops again.

BONUS: Heart Of Consideration

David Andrews is on IR. James Ferentz is now on the reserve/COVID checklist. Meaning the Patriots be again to having Joe Thuney at heart on Sunday.

Thuney received the beginning at heart in Week Three in opposition to the Raiders — his first profession begin on the place — and we didn’t hear his identify. That’s all the time a great signal for a middle. Let’s hope for an additional efficiency like that on Sunday.

Tune in to Patriots-Broncos on WBZ-TV! Pregame protection begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is about for 1 p.m., and after the sport keep tuned for full response and evaluation on Patriots fifth Quarter!

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