After falling to the Raiders in overtime in Week 11, the Broncos look to right the ship as they take on the Panthers. Carolina sits at 3-8 after losing to the Ravens, so both teams hope to get things rolling in the final seven weeks of the season.
To get you ready for the big game, we rounded up score and spread predictions from NFL analysts.
BetMGM's model projects that the Broncos will win, with 51.0 percent confidence. The model factors in offensive and defensive matchups, recent games, key player performances from the season and injuries. Here is BetMGM's game overview with betting trends and more.
The Broncos are 0-4 in true road games this year and haven't won a road game since Nov. 7, 2021. The active seven-game road losing streak is one shy of tying the franchise record. They'll match that record on Sunday in Carolina. The Panthers have similar offensive issues but have seemingly found something, albeit on an inconsistent basis, on defense since the dismissal of Matt Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow dismissal seven weeks ago. They've crept into the middle third in most defensive DVOA areas, including total DVOA, after confusing Lamar Jackson and the Ravens' offenses for most of the eventual 10-point loss in Baltimore last week.
Projected score: Panthers 19, Broncos 17
The Panthers' defense is a lot better with Jaycee Horn and Jeremy Chinn back in the secondary. That should lead to another long day for Russell Wilson, who has only played well against the Raiders this season. Unfortunately, Sam Darnold's return to the lineup will come against this depleted-but-excellent Broncos defense. This will not be the first game I watch on Game Pass next week.
Projected score: Broncos 12, Panthers 9
The Broncos rank last in the league in scoring with 14.7 points per game and the Panthers are 25th with 18.9, including their 3-point effort in their Week 11 loss to Baltimore. In terms of the quarterback position, Denver's Russell Wilson ranks 28th with a Total QBR of 32.3 and has to be thankful for Carolina's collective QBR of 20.8. – David Newton
Moody's projected score: Broncos 13, Panthers 10
Walder's projected score: Broncos 20, Panthers 16
This is the dog game of the week with two horrible offenses. First one to 10 wins? Denver has the better defense, but at home I think the Panthers will find a way to win this one. Denver continues to struggle.
Projected score: Panthers 17, Broncos 13
The Broncos' problems abound ... but the defense has more than pulled its weight. That should make things tough for Sam Darnold, who was named the starter over Baker Mayfield on Tuesday. These are two of the lowest-scoring teams in the league, so getting any points at all on the spread feels like a major advantage.
Pick: Panthers +2.5
A pair of three-win teams will be searching for offense. The Broncos have scored more than 20 points in just two games this season. The Panthers are 3-3 at home.
Projected score: Panthers 20, Broncos 18
Denver still has a top-five defense, with seven games holding an opponent to 17 points or fewer. And Carolina is winless on the road this season — 3-3 at home but 0-5 outside Charlotte. This feels like more of the same, and we'll give Denver a defensive touchdown to go with whatever offense these two teams can muster.
Projected score: Broncos 21, Panthers 16
Denver has an underwhelming passing attack (ranked 15th with the second-fewest touchdowns). The team's backfield features Latavius Murray, whom the team signed from the New Orleans Saints' practice squad in October, and Marlon Mack, who signed with the club a month ago. Don't expect this squad to score a lot of points — even against the lowly Carolina Panthers.
Projected score: Broncos 17, Panthers 13
As for this game, the Panthers continue to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and will go back to Sam Darnold at quarterback. There's no way to feel good about either side here, but I can't see Darnold doing much against this Broncos defense.
Pick: Broncos -2.5