The Patriots under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have thrived in most places. Except Denver.
Losers against the Broncos in the venue still named for a defunct company both during the 2015 regular season and postseason, the Patriots churned out a 16-3 win last December in Denver, besting Trevor Siemian in his first career start against New England — and preventing him from joining an exclusive club that includes Brian Griese, Jake Plummer (twice), Kyle Orton, Peyton Manning, and Brock Osweiler, each of whom have beaten Brady and Belichick in Denver.
On Sunday night, Osweiler will get his second career start against the Patriots as the Broncos quarterback. Last year, Osweiler faced the Patriots twice as the starting quarterback of the Texans, and it didn’t go well. The playoff encounter actually went better for Osweiler, whose team was in the game until Osweiler sailed a pass over the head of receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The ball would be caught by the Patriots, and the game (and Osweiler’s time in Houston) would be over.
This year, the Patriots seem to be better on offense, worse on defense. The Broncos are much worse on offense, and as a result also worse on defense, because the bad offense is putting more pressure on the championship-caliber defense.
And so, come Sunday night in Denver, Osweiler may become the only guy with full membership in both clubs: Broncos quarterbacks who have beaten Brady and Belichick in Denver, and those (currently, Siemian, Danny Kanell, and Tim Tebow) who haven’t.
Likewise, the 2016-17 Broncos have a chance to join a club that last added a member in 1966 — Broncos teams that lost at back-to-back games at home to the Patriots.