Two weeks ago when previewing this match-up, I spent a paragraph explaining why FB Andy Janovich needed to be used more. So glad the message was finally received :). Now that RB C.J. Anderson is out, it's even more vital we use him.
So many of the items I wrote about then, still apply now, so if you read the match-up then, sorry if many items are repeats. Will star* repeats with no adjustments to them.
To succeed against SD, Trevor Siemian, whose shoulder is much better, should target WR Demaryius Thomas more. Last week, he was used 10 times. A slight step up from the first four games. I understand that people are mad at him for the drop, but I swear some of his issues are from rust. He's rarely targeted over 10 yards or on the type of routes he does best.
If Gary Kubiak has any plans of switching up his game plan from the fiasco two weeks ago, now is the time to do it. Blame him or Siemian, but SD's defense has gotten better and after another week of the same type of passes, they're ready for more of the same. Not to mention, DT has 185 yards of YAC. On short passes, they are your best friend.
If Craig Mager is covering, this will be a good match-up for Siemian. Casey Hayward is the best on their secondary in my opinion, so he's who to watch out for.
*If Hayward is covering DT, hit Emmanuel Sanders or DT on a crossing pattern, time to get better at the middle and right of the field. This is a chorus every week, it seems. While his numbers to Sanders on the right are poor, he should try there, too. This could be a chance to strike where the San Diego Chargers are already weak at covering. Falcons QB Matt Ryan targeted the right often last week with success. Their right side is begging for a big play.
With RB Devontae Booker our starter and Kapri Bibbs the relief, I could see new addition TE AJ Derby being used. Gary Kubiak says he'll know more on Friday, but he wants to use him. The combo of him and fellow TE Virgil Green may give us our missing piece--a slot TE. This could help spring DT and Sanders from slot purgatory, plus give Siemian a real option to the right.
With the addition of Joey Bosa, San Diego’s DL has improved. He and Melvin Ingram will be giving our OL fits. Which is why it's so imperative that all hands are on deck for Denver. Forget using five WRs, we need 2 TE sets, a FB. Split Book and Jano and put them beside Siemian, whatever it takes.
Their poor linebackers still aren't great. Which is great news if any dumps offs to Booker are planned. Speaking of which, Book is 7 -0 on passes. This must be exploited by our run and passing game. With the addition of an extra TE (hallelujah!), and a good FB, everyone should do better.
AWR Travis Benjamin is good. CB Aqib Talib is better. WR Tyrell Williams is okay, CB Chris Harris, Jr is better. RB Melvin Gordon is good. FS Darrion Stewart and SS TJ Ward should be able to stop him if our linbackers can't. Time to show they learned from last week.
When Aqib and Chris take out Benjamin and Williams, Phillip Rivers has a slew of others he can and will throw to. The biggest threat of the second tier guys will be TE Hunter Henry. He needs to be jammed at the line of scrimmage, don't let him hit the flats. This is a repeat because we let him do just that, two weeks ago.
SD's RT is a weak point. This should be the dinner bell for LB Shane Ray and DE Derek Wolfe. Who knows, maybe move Von Miller over to that side for some plays. Although Wolfe probably wants to continue his DEFWU attitude towards quarterbacks. Not sure what was said last week to Brent, but since he doesn't have kids (after last week he may never), maybe he mentioned his wife. Moving on...
With LB Brandon Marshall not being 100% (but who is anymore?), look for Corey Nelson to see increased play. Also, we saw increased snaps from Dekoda Watson, who last week absolutely trucked a few guys. Wouldn't surprise much if this continues. While covering Melvin Gordon as a backfield receiver won't be in his wheelhouse, knocking him into next week on a run play, sure is.
NT Darius Kilgo should see more reps. Not only is Sylvester Williams dealing with a nagging injury, but Kilgo made a few nice plays on Sunday. And please use more of Billy Winn. So far, Jared Crick and Adam Gotsis haven't earned any cheers from this writer.
Who does have me flipping my skirt is the possibility of DEMARCUS WARE! Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. Just his presence should shore up our defensive line and send a few ripples up Phillips' river.
It may have been a one time thing, but Travis Benjamin can throw. Like he needs any more talent. Something to be on the lookout for.
Our offense is going to hinge on the run, duh. Give our QB some beautiful protection like last week, plus the run game and he should be able to shred their secondary. Whether it's a surprise deep ball to the right or even the efficient short passes. Max Garcia better be ready for Jatavis Brown and Melvin Ingram.
Wrapping it up...which is the defensive key to Denver stopping SD—wrap up your guy! Make your first hit, the last hit! (Hmm, maybe I should trademark that and sell some t-shirts.) In our losses, too many guys were slipping out of tackles. Lower the boom!
On our offense. Use DT. Seriously. They won't be expecting it, plus he needs to get some kind of rhythm going with Trevor. Short, long, who cares, just get some passes going to help the run, so it helps the pass and repeat. Go Broncos!
Prediction: Denver 28, San Diego 16.