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Patriots facing major road tests

Sports Xchange - Monday 13th November, 2017

DENVER -- The New England Patriots kicked off their longest stretch of road trips in 50 years with a 41-16 win at Denver on Sunday night.

It was the first of five away games in a six-game stretch, including an international affair next week when they play the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City.

The Patriots will remain in Colorado to prepare for the Raiders game, practicing all week at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs before heading to Mexico City.

"In a way, we're away from our normal routine, but we've got to try and make it as normal as possible because we're playing a good team," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. "They're on the road and we're on the road. It's kind of a different type of game. We've never played there, so the only thing we can really control is our effort and our preparation and that's got to be locked in this week."

The Patriots tied a club-record 12-game road winning streak with the Denver victory. The San Francisco 49ers' 18-game road winning streak is the longest in NFL history.

Milestone for Belichick

--New England's Bill Belichick recorded his 270th victory, inclduing playoffs, as a head coach in the NFL, moving him into a tie with Tom Landry for third-place on the all-time list.

"It's flattering, but I don't think that's the story tonight," Belichick said. "The story is what our team did and how our team performed. To win games in this league, you need great players, and I've been fortunate to have a lot of great players, a lot of great coaches and a great staff. That's really what it's about. The players are the ones who deserve the credit. They're the ones who go out there and make the plays and they did tonight."

Don Shula leads NFL head coaches with 347 career wins. George Halas is in second with 324 wins.

Sanders a bright spot

--Lost in another dismal game for the Broncos was an exceptional performance by wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Sanders had his 15th career 100-yard receiving game by halftime with five receptions for 114 yards in the first two quarters. He finished with six catches for 137 yards, with a long of 38 yards and an average per catch of 22.8 yards.

"He played an inspired football game," Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said. "He made a bunch of plays for us. That's 'E.' He's a tough guy. He's always engaged. "

Joseph non-committal on Osweiler

--It is uncertain whether Brock Osweiler will be the Broncos' starting quarterback for next Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Joseph said he wanted to review tape from the Patriots game and consult with staff before making a final decision.

The Broncos may want to try to get a look at Paxton Lynch, a former first-round draft pick who has been regaining his health after being sidelined by a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason.

Trevor Siemian began the year as the starter, but was ineffective at times and replaced two weeks ago by Osweiler.

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