It is an unfortunate reality that it is possible to beat the Denver Broncos (6-1) who, until last week, seemed unstoppable. This Sunday the Broncos face the Washington Redskins(2-4) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (2:25p.m. mtn) and they need to play based on that realization to motivate them.
The Broncos have already played a similar team as the Redskins in the Philadelphia Eagles. Both have a high ranked offense with a strong emphasis in the running game, quick quarterbacks who are able to scramble out of the pocket, and a flawed defense (the Redskins are ranked 25th in the league).
The Broncos are first in the league in the rushing defense. Against the Eagles who average 178.5 yards per game the Broncos limited them to 166 rushing yards and only one rushing touchdown.
Since playing the Eagles, the Broncos are at a different point in the season which includes injuries. It is only Thursday but seeing virtually the whole offensive roster on the “did not participate” category Wednesday is very unsettling. This included Peyton Manning, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Orlando Franklin and others. Fortunately, Manning did take the field in Thursday’s practice.
Champ Bailey is unlikely to play in Sunday’s game as it was evident this past Sunday that he injured his foot again. Hopefully they just need some extra time to recover but these injuries could play a huge factor in Denver’s production.
The Colts may have had an advantage in an obviously emotional Manning last week. Manning’s game was thrown off slightly, however the Colts were still able to keep up with the Broncos’ receivers in man-to-man coverage. The Broncos were forced to run more and unfortunately that didn’t have the results the Broncos were looking for. Knowshon Moreno had 40 yards and one touchdown while Ronnie Hillman had 25 yards and fumble at a crucial redzone moment. If the Colts have somehow provided defenses with a playbook for how to stop Manning then the Broncos may have their work cut out for them Sunday.
I have stressed it all season and I will continue to stress that the Broncos, specifically the defense, need to stop causing easily avoidable penalties. The Broncos had 12 penalties against the Colts (a league high) that accounted for 103 yards. Also, I will be surprised if the league doesn’t look into the play where Kevin Vickerson (who is the third most penalized player in the league with 7 so far) blatantly punches the Colts’ Samson Satele’s knee. Later Satele was shown on the sideline with a huge ice pack on his knee.
It’s evident that the Broncos need to correct the easily fixable mistakes the team made last week. Hopefully this game against the Redskins produces a win similar to the result as the Eagles game in week 4. Injuries, penalties and the ability to hold the ball may affect that but I predict Peyton Manning and the offense should be able to recover any of those flaws. The Broncos should be able to get back to their ideal reality: an unstoppable team.
Denver Broncos 35 -Washington Redskins 24
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