down cross

Cooks may have right recipe for the Patriots

Oakland's defence is dodgy

Rob Gronkowski could have a big game for the Patriots against Oakland
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Sky Sports Action, 9.25pm Sunday

Mexico City hosts its third regular-season game and the huge crowd in the Azteca Stadium could be treated to a masterclass from the great Tom Brady.

Oakland have had an up-and-down campaign but their playoff prospects are being hamstrung by their ineffective defence and the veteran Patriots quarterback should show no mercy.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski and the speedy Brandin Cooks are the two Patriots who should make the difference and Cooks can be fancied to add to his tally of just three touchdowns this year.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick puts the ball where the match-up is most in his favour and Cooks could be running free often in what might prove to be a shootout.

The Patriots have had their own defensive issues this season and are dealing with a few injuries, but they have not conceded more than 17 points in their last five games.

B Cooks to score a touchdown

1pt 5-4 Hills

The lowdown
Venue Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, Mexico
Surface Grass
Weather Partly cloudy, 18C
Vegas handicap Oakland +7
Vegas points line 54.5

Team news
New England
Centre David Andrews (illness), offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle), wide receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder) and special teams ace Matthew Slater (hamstring) are out. Wide receiver Danny Amendola (knee), tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder), defensive tackle Malcom Brown (ankle) and cornerback Eric Rowe (groin) are rated questionable.

Cornerback David Amerson (foot) is unlikely to play. Offensive lineman Gabe Jackson (ankle) and Marshall Newhouse (hip) are rated questionable, along with linebacker Corey James (knee).

Key stat
New England have won five of the teams’ last six meetings.

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Cooks could be running free often in what might prove to be a shootout
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