After starting the season 4-0, the Denver Broncos have struggled to compete against two teams with less than impressive defenses. The game against Atlanta was the worst performance by the offensive line all season. The San Diego debacle was an uninspired effort until the 4th quarter.
Even with all the problems, the Broncos had an opportunity to win both of those games. The defense has struggled to start games. The counterpunching style has cost the team early in games, but they have stepped up late, and given the offense a chance to win.
The offense has had moments. There have been flashes of brilliance. Think of how well they played against Cincinnati. Remember the inspired play of the offense when Trevor Siemian went down in the Tampa Bay game. The Broncos are still a good team. The question is about how good.
How good are they now, and how good can they become over the next few weeks? Only time will tell. However, Monday night is an opportunity for the Broncos to make a statement. Statement games come a few times a season. With Brock Osweiler making his return to Denver, this will be one of those games.
The Thursday night game in San Diego was a statement game. The statement was more of a shoulder shrug. The Broncos seemed to be disinterested at times. The defense started slow. The play calling was bad. The offensive play was uninspired. So much for dedicating the game to an ailing coach.
The Broncos should be looking to make a very different statement against the Texans. The best way to welcome Osweiler back to the Mile High City would be to put him on his back. The Broncos offense firing on all cylinders is another way to make a statement. Every phase of the game must come out with fire in their belly.
If not, the statement will be clear. This team is not ready for the big time. A loss on Monday night will signal a possible end to the hunt for the next title.