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Sunday Night Football heads to Denver in Week 10, as the struggling Broncos, who have dropped four straight, host the New England Patriots, who are moving the exact opposite direction with four consecutive victories.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on NBC. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch NBC live online, on your tablet or on another streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s game for free if you’re in a select market:
DirecTV Now: NBC (live in 15 markets) is included in all four channel packages, ranging from $35 to $70 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
FuboTV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Sling TV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package for $25 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
The Pats have won four straight, they’re coming off a bye and they’re favored by eight points against an ice-cold Broncos team. But Bill Belichick’s squad knows as well as anyone the difficulty of playing in Denver, especially in a prime-time game.
“We’ve always had some tough games out there,” Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said. “That’s a tough place to play — just the environment and atmosphere. They have a great fan base that really gets behind the team and those guys play well at home against us. That’s the difficult part.”
The Patriots proved last year they can win in Denver with an impressive 16-3 victory, but this year’s defense isn’t nearly as intimidating. Though they’ve played much better in terms of scoring defense during their current four-game win streak, they still rank last in the NFL in yards per play allowed (6.6), last in yards per pass attempt allowed (8.3) and 31st in Football Outsiders’ pass defense efficiency rankings.
Fortunately for New England, this is a matchup of weakness vs weakness. The Broncos offense has tallied three times as many turnovers (13) as touchdowns (4) during their current losing streak, and things didn’t look any better last week with Brock Osweiler at the helm, as he averaged 5.5 yards per pass, threw two interceptions and was sacked three times in the blowout loss against Philadelphia. Even against an inconsistent Patriots defense, there’s no real reason to believe Denver’s offense will suddenly start moving the ball efficiently.
As such, the Broncos will need a near perfect effort from their defense. It’s certainly possible considering they rank sixth in Football Outsiders’ defensive rankings, but it’s less likely against an explosive Patriots offense that has had two weeks to gameplan for the matchup.
Put it all together and the Patriots should ultimately leave with the victory, but with Denver boasting a 3-1 home record on the year and sure to be fired up in a must-win game, it would be a mistake to fully write off the Broncos.