The Broncos are (theoretically) 4-2 going into the second half of the regular season. How will things shake over the last several weeks? Does the offense finally develop a fluid chemistry? Will the defense break down when they are needed most? Who are the undiscovered superstars that will carry Denver into the playoffs?
Week 7: Against Chiefs (10/25)
There isn’t much the Broncos will be able to do against the Chiefs. As threatening as Denver’s defense is, Patrick Mahomes will likely have another MVP season. Kareem Jackson (SS) and Justin Simmons (FS) will have their work cut out for them as they match up against Tyreek Hill (WR), Sammy Watkins (WR), and Travis Kelce (TE). The point margin will depend solely on how well Denver is able to execute offensively in response to Kansas City. The game will be closer than the experts predict, but ultimately the win goes to the Chiefs.
Week 8: BYE
This week gives Vic Fangio time to reassess his current starting lineup and evaluate the risks taken in previous games. Hopefully a few players have made a name for themselves and will continue to shine throughout the remainder of the season.
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Week 9: At Falcons (11/8)
The Falcons went 1-7 in the first part of the 2019 season before turning their team around and finishing 7-9. Although Atlanta was able to pick up momentum towards the end of the year, they will have their guard down as they expect an “easy win” against Denver. This will be Jerry Jeudy’s (WR) game. He will have finally connected with Drew Lock and the chemistry will make for a powerful offensive presence. While this game won’t be a blowout, it will be enough to put the Broncos on the radar for quite a few teams.
Week 10: At Raiders (11/15)
The Raiders tend to start out strong in the beginning of the season, then fade in the end. The opposite is true of the Broncos. When these teams faced off last season, Oakland won the first round with a final score of 24-16. However, the next time these teams met was at the end of the regular season. After a close game, Denver prevailed with a final score of 16-15. This game will be one of the least interesting matchups of the season, but still another win for the Broncos.
Week 11: Against Chargers (11/22)
Since 2014, the Broncos have won 10 of their 13 matchups against the Chargers. Denver should be confident in their odds of winning this game. So long as Lock keeps his targets primed and continues to lead with confidence, this will be a low-stress week.
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Week 12: Against Saints (11/29)
There’s no getting around the game experience that leads the Saints. Drew Brees (QB) is an expert in the backfield and has a variety of options surrounding him. Although Denver will be doing well at this point in the season, there is a lot of pressure that accumulates with a win streak. The Broncos will likely go through a brief lapse in field presence. Every team faces struggles at one point or another; it all depends on which teams are able to recover in time for the playoffs.
Week 13: At Chiefs (12/6)
As teams begin feeling the pressure to make the playoffs, some will rise to the challenge and others will cripple under the pressure. Losing this game does not necessarily mean Denver won’t be able to recover and rise to the occasion. If anything, this loss will put a chip on everyone’s shoulder that will propel them to excel beyond anyone’s expectations. No one will be anticipating the Broncos’ final record.
Week 14: At Panthers (12/13)
The Panthers aren’t nearly as intimidating as they were with quarterback Cam Newton. After a very rough record of 5-11 in 2019, the team doesn’t show many signs of rapid improvement. Long term? That is a different discussion. This will be the start of Denver’s longest win streak this season.
Week 15: Against Bills (TBD)
There was a time the Bills were so bad that a player, Vontae Davis, quit at halftime. However, that was during the 2017 season and since then, expectations have grown for a team that has seen a defense become one of the better units in the league and has a big-armed quarterback who added a new wide receiver in Stefon Diggs during the offseason. Can they live up to and manage the hype? We’ll see. Denver may catch a break and a vulnerable Bills team if the season hasn’t played out the way they expected and it could secure a winning record and a spot in the playoffs. As Lock prepares his offense for the postseason, practicing trick plays and deep passes is critical to their success.
Week 16: Against Chargers (TBD)
The Broncos already won once—they’ll do it again.
Week 17: Against Raiders (1/3)
The goal is to finish strong, and that’s exactly what Denver will do. This is the win that will keep players’ heads held high. This is the win that will keep their confidence where it needs to be. Winning any game is 90 percent mental. After adding another win to their streak, the playoff possibilities are endless.