NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-2) at DENVER BRONCOS (8-5)
Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016 at 4:25 p.m. ET. Sports Authority Field at Mile High (76,125)
The New England Patriots will play against the Denver Broncos this week in a rematch of the 2015 AFC Championship Game. The Patriots and Broncos will play in the regular season for the sixth year in a row. The Patriots are 4-1 in the previous five meetings. Last season, the Patriots lost, 30-24, at Denver in overtime on Nov. 29. The Patriots and Broncos then faced each other in the AFC Title Game with Denver winning, 20-18, on Jan. 24, 2016.
A victory over Denver will secure the Patriots an NFL-record eighth straight division title and a first-round playoff bye for the seventh consecutive season.
The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will meet for the sixth straight year in the regular season this week when the Patriots travel to Denver. The Patriots are 4-1 in the previous five meetings.
Last season, the two teams played twice, one in the regular season and in the AFC Championship Game. Both games were played in Denver, and both games were won by the Broncos. The Patriots lost, 30-24, in overtime at Denver on Nov. 29, 2015, and fell, 20-18, in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 24, 2016.
Denver leads the overall series by a 26-20 margin in the regular season and a 4-1 margin in the postseason.
The Patriots and Broncos have played in the three divisional playoff games and two AFC Championship Games.
The Patriots are 9-21 overall in games played in Denver, including 0-4 in postseason games.
New England has played more games against the Broncos than any other team that has never been in New England's division.
The history between the teams dates back to the first days of the American Football League in 1960. The Patriots played the Broncos in the inaugural game of each franchise, a 13-10 Denver win on Sept. 9, 1960, at BU Field. The teams squared off twice a year in the decade prior to the AFL-NFL merger, except for 1967 and 1969.
SERIES BREAKDOWN (INCLUDING PLAYOFFS)
- Overall Record, 21-30 (Including 1-4 in playoffs)
- Record in New England, 12-9
- Record in Denver, 9-21 (Including 0-4 in playoffs)
- Total Points in the Series, Denver 1,179, Patriots 1,116
- Bill Belichick vs. Denver, 8-13 (8-9 with New England)
Tom Brady is 5-6 against the Broncos in the regular season and 1-3 against Denver in the postseason following a 2005 AFC Divisional playoff loss in Denver, the 2011 AFC Divisional victory at Gillette Stadium and the 2013 and 2015 AFC Championship Game losses in Denver.
TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4 in Boston. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties with *Phil Simms as the color analyst. *Tracy Wolfson will work the sidelines. The game will be produced by Lance Barrow and directed by Mike Arnold.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN Radio. Adam Amin and Bill Polian will call the game. Ian Fitzsimmons will work the sidelines.
LOCAL RADIO:98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. Produced by Marc Cappello.
PATS CAN CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
The New England Patriots have qualified for the playoffs 23 times in their 56-year history. Seventeen of those playoff berths have come in the 22 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths the team earned in its first 34 years of existence. The Patriots have won 18 division crowns, including 13 in the last 15 seasons, and have qualified as a Wild Card team four times (1976, 1985, 1994 and 1998). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 during the strike season.
The Patriots can clinch another AFC East Division and earn a first-round bye with a win in Denver on Sunday.
PLAYOFF SEASONS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 17
Green Bay Packers, 17
Indianapolis Colts, 16
Pittsburgh Steelers, 14
Philadelphia Eagles, 12
Denver Broncos, 12