It's time for the Denver Broncos to shine in primetime once again. This Sunday the Denver Broncos host the San Francisco 49ers in what very well could be a Superbowl preview. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:20MT. The game will also be available to stream live in the US on nbcsports.com.
For those of you wondering what the early games will look like in your area check out the broadcast maps at 506sports.com. For Colorado locals you will get Kansas City @ San Diego, Carolina @ Green Bay, and NY Giants @ Dallas.
This game might be decided by how the young guys play for the Broncos. There are three rookie undrafted free agents who are now on the Broncos 53 man roster. Isaiah Burse who has been returning kickoffs, Juwan Thompson who has come in after Ball's injury to help the running game get going, and Shaquil Barrett who was brought up from the practice squad this week to help fill the hole left by Danny Trevathan's recent injury. While it's doubtful Barrett will be active on Sunday, Burse and Thompson should play important roles (barring injury issues with Thompson.)
There are a lot of rookies making on impact for the Broncos already this season. 1st draft pick Bradley Roby is certainly the shining star of this group. Rookie cornerbacks aren't expected to be very good their first year in the NFL. Roby is letting everyone know he is not someone to be picked on.
Only one of the Broncos draft picks is on the practice squad (Matt Paradis). Cody Latimer and Michael Schofield have been regulars on the inactive list on game days but you've got to believe Latimer will get his day sooner than later. Lamin Barrow has been spending most of his time on special teams but unfortunately has only really been on my radar for punching someone and getting ejected in the Jets game. (hello, bad rookie decisions!)
The Broncos last draft pick, Corey Nelson, is the one who has the biggest chance to make an impression this Sunday. Nelson and Brandon Marshall (who was on the Bronco's practice squad last season) will be filling in for Trevathan during his 8 week absence. And no one seems to be panicking about this - that's some good depth and some good work from the young guys.
Throw in the fact that it's our kicker's first year in the NFL (McManus I want you to go back to touchbacks every time Sunday and Thursday!) and that's a lot of young guys on the field for the Broncos. Thompson, Burse, Latimer, Nelson, and Roby are 22 years old. McManus is 23. Barrett is 21. If Peyton Manning had made different choices in his teenage years he could have kids that age.
I hope these young guys take the opportunity to play in two primetime games in five days and impress us all.
The Broncos are 6-7 all-time against the 49ers. Time to even up those numbers! Kickoff is scheduled for 6:40PM MT.