The Denver Broncos face off against their final NFC opponent of the season as they travel to the Big Easy to take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
It is onto the next team for the Denver Broncos. And it will not be an easy task. Next up, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
The Broncos will travel to New Orleans for the first time since 2004 when the two teams clash in what could be a significant game for both teams.
Denver is coming off a rather embarrassing loss to the Oakland Raiders on the road. Meanwhile, New Orleans is coming off a rather impressive victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The No Fly Zone will be tested this week when they go up against a Future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees. It’ll be important to shut him down if the team is going to have any success in winning the game.
Let us dive right into the game with the keys to the game. I will be providing three of them below.
I do not think I need to stress what needs to be done this weekend. Drew Brees is the leader in passing yards this season. He has thrown for over 300 yards in every game this season.
The No Fly Zone for the Denver Broncos have yet to allow a 300 yard passer this season. Something has to give on Sunday afternoon.
The most passing yards that the Broncos have allowed this season is 267 twice. Both Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers (Week 8) recorded that.
Drew Brees is perhaps the best quarterback the No Fly Zone has faced so far this season. Some might disagree, but according to stats, Brees is the leader.
If the Broncos secondary can limit Brees, this could be a win for the Broncos.
Key #2- Get the Running Game Going
The Broncos could not get anything going in the running game against the Raiders. It seems to have been that way since C.J. Anderson last played against the Texans.
If the running game is going to be successful, the offensive line needs to get better and the coaching staff needs to get Andy Janovich involved as well.
When Janovich is on the field, the Broncos running attack looks beyond better. Let us hope that Kubiak gets Janovich a bit more involved in the running game this weekend.
Key #3- Take Advantage of the Saints Pass Defense
Last week, the Denver Broncos faced an Oakland Raiders team that was near the bottom in pass defense. However, Trevor Siemian was unable to take advantage of it.
Despite throwing for 283 yards against the Raiders, he was below 50 percent in his completion percentage. That will not get the job done. Not to mention that his first six passes went incomplete.
The running game will lead to a better passing attack, but Siemian needs to take advantage of the bottom ranked Saints pass defense. Teams have been throwing left and right against the Saints.
If Siemian can get a groove going, this would be the perfect game to have a game similar to what he had against the Cincinnati Bengals back in Week 3.
Injuries to keep an eye on
Broncos cornerback Kayvon Webster was a full participant in practice for the second straight day on Thursday. He was forced to miss last week’s game with a hamstring injury. With Aqib Talib most likely out for the game, having Webster on the field will be very helpful.
Broncos center Matt Paradis was held out of practice for the second day on Thursday. The Broncos are exercising caution with Paradis’ hip injury. He is believed to be able to go on Sunday.
Drew Brees and Trevor Siemian vs. Opposing Secondaries
Von Miller and Demarcus Ware vs. Saints O-Line
Broncos Run Offense vs. Saints Front Seven
If the Broncos get into a shootout with the Saints, I will be a bit concerned. This game is going to come down to the secondary of each team. Whomever performs better will most likely win the game.
If Kayvon Webster plays, that will be a big boost to the secondary. And the Broncos offense needs to get into a better rhythm.
I believe that the Broncos defense will do its part to keep it close. I am going to give a bold prediction and say Brandon McManus wins it in overtime after the Saints fail to score.