3 Things for Broncos to win
1. Get the running game on track. It appears that C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman will continue to split the rushing load but regardless, the Broncos need to be a more balanced offense. Peyton Manning is a shell of his former-self. The Broncos have a terrific defense so a ball control offense can get er’ done. It’s time for the offensive line to create some rushing lanes and the backs to make some plays at the second level.
2. Balance. Certainly the Broncos needs to establish a running game but with Demariyus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on your roster make certain they receive a healthy number of targets. More importantly, target them in the middle of the field in an effort to play inside-out.
3. Pressure, pressure, pressure. The Lions have yet to commit to running the football. If they continue to throw the overwhelming majority of the time unleash Demarcus Ware and Von Miller. Forget about stopping the run on the way to the quarterback, just go get the quarterback. The Lions struggled to protect quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 2 and Stafford is mistake prone.
3 Things for Lions to win
1. You must slow down the Broncos’ pass rush. Do yourself a favor and commit to running the football and if not that focus on the short to intermediate passing attack. Your offensive game plan has to prevent the Broncos’ pass rushers from simply pinning their ears back and attacking. Give them something to think about and create a little hesitation in their play.
2. Force Peyton Manning to beat you. Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but it’s true. Your pass rush is the strength of your defense and the Broncos still have question marks along their offensive line. Make sure Rashean Mathis has some help over the top and get after Peyton. Third and long favors your defense in this contest.
3. Give Rashean Mathis some HELP! The once ageless veteran’s skills and foot speed have declined substantially and he is being picked on in man coverage. Do you recall Week 1 against the San Diego Chargers and Keenan Allen. Mathis can still bump & run at the line of scrimmage in order to disrupt the timing of the Broncos’ passing attack; but when he gets beat (it happens) there has to be safety help over the top otherwise the Lions will struggle to get stops.
What to watch for…
The adjustments the Broncos have or have not made from Week 2 to Week 3. Peyton’s arm strength comes and goes. The offensive line is struggling to pass protect and run block. Will the Broncos play inside-out for a change? Will Peyton continue to run “his” offense from the shotgun? Or will the Broncos start to have success running Gary Kubiak’s offense? We shall see Sunday night.
The Front Office Says…
The Denver Broncos win.