Welcome to week 6 of "Repeating Business". I will give some thoughts on Sunday's game at take a look at the Thursday night match-up.
Atlanta - The Falcons came to Denver riding a three game win streak and a high-powered offense. Denver elected to kick and Atlanta responded with a 75 yard TD drive. This drive sadly set the tone for the rest of the game with Tevin Coleman taking a 48 yard pass to the red zone and Devonta Freeman getting a catch to the 1. The goal line defense faltered giving up a fourth down TD. Aqib Talib almost snagged a pick on the drive to stop them, but it was not meant to be.
Brandon McManus was perfect in his field goals and Riley Dixon was solid in his punting despite being called on way too much. They were the lone bright spot on this day. The return game rode the short bus with Cody Latimer not being able to get to the 25 on two returns of of the end zone. He needs to just kneel the ball if he can't get there. Jordan Norwood's poor decision to not field a punt resulted in the kick being downed inside their own 1 yard line.
Offensively, the Broncos were truly offensive. The right side of the OL was a complete cluster-@#*% with Ty Sambrailo playing the part of a traffic cone with Vic Beasley Jr. schooling him all day long. By the time they pulled Ty, it was too late and Michael Schofield was not any better. I do sincerely hope Donald Stephenson and Virgil Green gets back to the field soon because this OL is bordering on comical. Their performance already got Trevor Siemian killed and will get Lynch killed if not shored up. The run game has been mainly non-existent and C.J. Anderson is not getting the yards. Devontae Booker seems to have fresher legs, but he can't get going with defenders draped all over him after three yards. The play calling was also not good with Lynch throwing a deep interception when a better choice would be to hand the ball off to Andy Janovich to get some room. One thing we learned is that this team has little margin for error this season and the Falcons are for real (at least on offense).
Defensively, this crew had an off day. The LBs were burnt beyond recognition by the Atlanta backs both on the ground and air. You can't expect to win when a RB has 132 yards receiving on four catches. Matt Ryan was only sacked twice. The "No Fly Zone" was decent on shutting down the WRs and had two chances at interceptions, but couldn't reel them in. In the trenches, the DL had no pressure nor did they shut down the run when needed. Von Miller got another sack, but was mostly quiet otherwise. DeMarcus Ware returning can't come soon enough. To make more of an insult to injury, Gary Kubiak was transported to a hospital with flu-like symptoms. Hopefully he gets to feeling better quickly. Fortunately, Denver gets to wash the stink off of this game and now look forward to the next challenger......
San Diego - Denver marches into the "Murph" to face the reeling Chargers. They are 1-4 and could easily be 4-1 or 5-0. Philip Rivers still leads this team and despite losing Keenan Allen for the season for the second straight year, their passing game is dangerous. Their losses have been by four points or less and they have had a lead in the fourth quarter before they blew it. On Sunday, they had the Raiders dead to rights but they had four turnovers that absolutely killed them. They were down 34-31 with time to either tie or take the lead. Rivers audibled to a run play that went nowhere on 3rd and 1, but were in easy FG range. Instead of tying the game, the snap went past the holder and the Raiders ran out the clock for the fluke win and a tie with Denver for the AFC West.
For the all-orange color rush Broncos to win, they must get to Rivers early and often. With the offense being shaky, the defense needs takeaways to set them up. It is not certain if Lynch or Siemian will play, but regardless who starts at QB the OL MUST get their jobs done. Because of the crucial game this is, there is no margin for errors. Hopefully the coach and the starters can heal up and get after it Thursday night. If the goal is to get homefield advantage, you must win your division and this game helps to set the tone. That's all I have and GO Broncos.