Patriots run game gets boost with Cam Newton at QB vs. Broncos

Broncos (1-3) at Patriots (2-2)

1 p.m. ET | CBS

Matchup rating: 41.8 | Spread: NE -9.5 (45)

What to watch for: The Patriots totaled more than 200 rushing yards in each of their first two home games, and if they hit the mark again Sunday, they would match the 1976 and 1978 teams as the only ones to rush for 200 or more in three consecutive games. Quarterback Cam Newton's return, and his rushing prowess, will stress the Broncos' defense. -- Mike Reiss

Bold prediction: The Broncos will force two turnovers. Why? Well ... because they're really, really due. And if they don't, this game could get ugly. The Broncos have been one of the league's worst in takeaways this season -- one interception and one fumble recovery in four games -- but the Patriots are tied for eighth in giveaways with seven. -- Jeff Legwold

Stat to know: Newton posted a Total QBR of 73 in the Patriots' first two games of the season. But then the quarterback play hit a snag, as Newton, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham combined to post a Total QBR of 28 in the past two outings. That was the worst team QBR in the league combined in Weeks 3 and 4.

Injuries: Broncos | Patriots

What to know for fantasy: When he gets at least 15 touches, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has averaged 15.6 fantasy points per game over his career. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Pats coach Bill Belichick is 23-11 ATS at home as a favorite over the past five seasons. Read more.

Legwold's pick: Patriots 24, Broncos 17

Reiss' pick: Patriots 30, Broncos 13

FPI prediction: NE, 63.6% (by an average of 4.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: "A student of everything": What a 26-year-old Bill Belichick learned as a Broncos assistant ... Patriots' Newton comes off COVID-19 list ... Broncos coach Fangio forced to take more risks on defense ... Broncos RB Gordon cited for DUI