So I'm at work...a bit nervous and excited about tomorrow's game and I am thinking of all the possible outcomes and scenarios...and I look up and and see this guy and ask myself, "What the hell is Neckbeard doing in CA at my store the night before the big game???" After a second glance, I realize this isn't our QB, but the similarities get me thinking 100% Pigskin once again and I begin thinking of how the real Neckbeard can pull off the upset tomorrow...
Special Teams- Former CU alumni Mason Crosby has recorded touchbacks on less than 50% of his kickoffs this year compared to Prater's 100%. If Prater can continue this, and Crosby continues to not get TBs... look for a 10-15 yard advantage in field position for Orton and the Broncos. Cosby vs Crosby...Let's go Cosby!!!
Gameplan- We all know there HAS to be more in the McCoy playbook than what we have seen so far, and I expect to see everything but the kitchen sink(including Tebow formations) thrown at the Packers Sunday. On the defensive side of the ball, look to see even more creative blitz packages from Dennis Allen to create turnover opportunities...if we can create more turnovers than times getting burnt, I am happy. A healthier team on both offense and defense will allow for more creativity from Fox's staff, let's hope they use all that is available at their disposal.
Screen Game, etc?- With the return of Knowshon, and hopefully the Broncos staff realizing they can use Orton's "Screen-game tells" to their own advantage...I look for Knowshon to have a huge game receiving the ball out of the backfield. With the Pack bringing the heat, I think McGahee may be used as an extra blocker and Moreno as an extra outlet for Orton. An effective screen game can open up plenty of opportunities down the field as the game goes along. Let's see if Orton and company are on top of their game and execute accordingly.
Penalties- Through three games, there have been two losses where the opposing team lost it at certain times and took bonehead penalties that could have given the Broncos the game if they could have executed better. If given a third opportunity this week, the offense must capitalize with TOUCHDOWNS.
Turnovers- Turnovers have always been the great equalizer in football. Countless upsets have happened as a direct result from costly turnovers by the supposed better team. The defense need to tirelessly look for times to strip the ball while gangtackling, just as Dennis Allen has coached into them. If the defense can provide a few turnovers and the offense is able to cash them if for touchdowns, there is no reason this Broncos team can not compete with the champs.
Other factors- After the Kyle Orton look-a-like came into the store, Captain Obvious dropped in and told me that if the Broncos can control the tempo of the game through the running game and are able to convert on manageable third downs, they can keep the high powered Packers offense on the sideline watching. Astounded by the Captain's insight, I asked him what he thought of our secondary matchup vs the Green Bay wideouts. And he said to me, "Two words sir...Rahim Moore." I asked him to provide more insight but he said I could draw my own conclusion from it and left. So I think what he meant was Rahim Moore needs to show up and show up big defending the pass against the talented receivers and tight ends the Packers have. The tight ends of the Packers need to be taken out of the game...
VonDoom- If Doom is on the field and close to 80%, and these two are able to pressure Rodgers early, the Packers may have to adjust their game plan by keeping TEs on the line instead of using them in the passing game.
13 years ago, John Elway had a game against the Packers that ultimately defined his legacy with the Broncos. This Sunday, Kyle Orton has a chance to define his legacy with the Broncos. Another chance to prove all the naysayers wrong. Although it's only one game on the schedule...this game will play a huge role in the outcome of the Broncos' season in many ways. With a win, Orton can be given a few more feet of rope from the front office, maybe even a few inches from myself and many other Bronco fans. With a loss, no matter how close or how bad...Kyle Orton will be put under the microscope once again, and rightfully so.