The focus will be on the soap opera featuring Brock Osweiler as the main character. However, the Broncos will have to watch out for a few other Texans.
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Oct 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans are coming to town, and that is enough of a story as is. Although the focus of the game will be on how the Broncos treat their former quarterback, there are many more aspects to the game.
Denver is coming off back to back losses in which weaknesses have been exploited. The offensive line has had its fair share of trouble, and with Russell Okung’s status uncertain, the line will be watched closely.
Meanwhile on the defensive side, the Broncos have faced difficulties covering tight ends and running backs. If they want to get back on track they must solve these issues.
The Houston Texans have a lot of talented players that have led them to a 4-2 record. We know about Osweiler and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but there are others the Broncos must watch out for.
Here are the three key players the Broncos must keep in check to help their success.
Oct 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
The talented running back has been the most consistent piece to the Houston offense, and has potential to exploit Denver’s weaknesses. Miller has 520 yards rushing and another 111 through the air. While Miller has only accounted for only two touchdowns on the season, he has the abilities to make plays in space.
The Broncos have allowed 112.7 yards rushing per game, while allowing running backs to get open in the pass game. Miller takes the majority of the snaps for the Texans taking more than 3/4 of the teams carries. He will see a lot of touches and the Broncos must keep his gains limited and wrap up in space.
Oct 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (87) . Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Hunter Henry of the Chargers showed a flaw in coverage for the Broncos last week, catching six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. This week they will face another talented young tight end in C.J. Fiedorowicz. The last three games, Fiedorowicz has become a very reliable target for Osweiler.
Over the three game span he has led the Texans in receiving yardage while adding two touchdowns, including the key touchdown in an epic comeback against the Colts. The Broncos secondary has done a great job against opposing receivers, but tight ends have seemed to be getting more opportunities. The linebackers and T.J. Ward will need to present tight coverage against Fiedorowicz.
With the Texans defense you hear the names of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney but they also boast another very underrated linebacker in Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus is an impact player who doesn’t receive the recognition he deserves.
He currently leads the team in sacks with 4.5 adding to his 12 picked up last season. With Okung’s availability uncertain the Broncos will face two talented pass rushers with question marks on the offensive line. Keeping Mercilus out of Trevor Siemian’s face will hopefully allow for more production out of the offense.