Bold Predictions: Denver Broncos v. San Diego Chargers
The Denver Broncos suffered first loss to Atlanta Falcons. Now on Thursday, the Broncos now face the San Diego Chargers with bold predictions coming.
Against the Falcons, the Denver Broncos struggled mightily in all phases and they will now be with out head Gary Kubiak. Special Teams coach Joe DeCamillis is thrust into the interim role in a short week to prepare for the San Diego Chargers in this Color Rush matchup.
As the Broncos appear to be getting healthy pieces back for the game, look for the offense to re-establish its identity.
Paxton Lynch’s difficult NFL debut appears to be short-lived for now as Trevor Siemian expects to start for the reigning Super Bowl champions. Siemian has a better understanding of the offense and with the wide receivers. Both Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas will rebound in a monster performance against a depleted Chargers’ secondary.
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The inept Broncos running attack is on track to get a boost in the additions of Donald Stephenson and Virgil Green back to the starting lineup.
Green and Stephenson, respectively, help CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker find holes to run to. On paper, the Broncos have a better rushing nucleus than last years; furthermore, both backs are on the verge of a monster game in San Diego.
In the Falcons game last Sunday, the Broncos defensive line and linebackers failed in gap integrity, which forced them to lose containment of both the Falcons’ running backs.
Even the pressure applied to Matt Ryan was minimal, but Von Miller and Shane Ray did well considering how the rest of the Broncos’ linebackers performed. Historically the past handful of years, Miller and the rest of the Broncos defense wreaked havoc on Phillip Rivers. This will not change tomorrow.
Thomas/Sanders: 100+ yards receiving & a TD Each
Although, despite the loss the passing targets of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders did not disappoint per say last Sunday and both will look to continue the rapport with Siemian on a short week. A depleted secondary of the Chargers makes for Sanders and Thomas as prime weapons this Thursday. San Diego ranks 30th in the league in receiving yards allowed in the NFL this year. Since 2012, Thomas has scored a touchdown in every game against the Chargers, except for two games. On the other hand, Sanders is looking for just his second 100-yard game when facing the Chargers since joining the Broncos.
As a matter of fact, Sanders and Thomas were close to 100 yards each in the Bengals game. The defensive back Brandon Flowers is out due to him still in the concussion protocol. A massive blow the Chargers’ secondary that already lost Jason Verrett for the season. Chargers are also without Jahaleel Addae, their starting strong safety.
Never wish an injury on anyone as it is better to play with a full bill of health, but for Sanders and Thomas this gives them a chance to break out for a monster performance of 100 yards each. Thomas caught the lone score last weekend, while Sanders racked up the yardage. Let’s step up the bold prediction and say Sanders/Thomas will also catch a touchdown pass each, along with a 100 plus receiving day.
CJ Anderson: 100+ yards
Devontae Booker: 50+ yards and a TD
Additionally, the running game of the Denver Broncos will get a big boost tomorrow night with Virgil Green and Donald Stephenson expected to be active. This means CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker may run wild over the San Diego Chargers defensive line and linebackers. The Chargers miss Manti Te’o controlling the middle of the defense. Look for the running game to get the next level and earn a huge chunk of yardage.
However, San Diego despite the multitude of injuries they sustained register the 8th best rush defense in the NFL. Emotions will be flying high though in Anderson and Booker due to Green and Stephenson projected back in the starting lineup. The running game remains to be a mystery, but with offensive coordinator Rick Dennison calling plays, the playbook may expand to help benefit Anderson and Booker.
In my opinion, Anderson will clock 100+ yards on the ground, regaining his momentum from week one. Anderson’s slow start is a cause for concern, but because the recent offensive line woes will get a extra bounce in their step, he will respond with a vengeance. Booker’s season is steadily on the uptick after his first NFL carry resulted in a fumble. He is proving to be a nice change of pace back to Anderson in the running game and receiving. In the San Diego game, Booker rushes for 50+ and steps into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.
Von Miller, Shane Ray, Derek Wolfe: 2 sacks each
Sylvester Williams: 0.5 sack
In the Atlanta Falcons game, the defensive line of the Denver Broncos were manhandled upfront, but do not expect that to happen any time in the near future. Phillip Rivers is in the top-5 in passing yards, which should surprise no one since he has done it before. Speaking of history, the Broncos have always gotten after Rivers. The defensive line and rushing linebackers will get the bad taste out of their mouths from last Sunday and pressure Rivers repeatedly.
On a positive note, Von Miller and Shane Ray did fine against Matt Ryan, but again the defensive line struggled to create any pressure up the middle to move the offensive line. Sylvester Williams did not push the center back like he did in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ game and Derek Wolfe was also a non-factor. Move to tomorrow’s game, the Broncos will be hungry and motivated to bring back that disciplined nasty on defense.
Furthermore, Miller, Ray and Wolfe will have two sacks each and Williams earns a half sack on Rivers. The Broncos understand not to panic as a unit and the rest of Broncos Country should do the same. Take a chill pill, Broncos will respond in the short week with incentive to be the best defense we all know they are.