clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Broncos Titans predictions: Denver will find a way to stop the run to win in Tennessee

New, comments

Warning: This video contains language that may offend and hurt.

The Denver Broncos (8-4) had the AFC West door opened ever so slightly for them on Thursday, but they must win out starting with the Tennessee Titans (6-6) this Sunday.

Given the Broncos struggles in run defense, this game appears to be a run stopping nightmare against the Titans third ranked rushing attack. Our predictions show that mixed bag of doubt that I am sure many fans are feeling. However, we’re mostly optimistic about the win.

Our consensus score is a Broncos 21-16 win over the Titans, but here is how it broke out individually.

Titans 21, Broncos 13

The last time Trevor Siemian came back from an injury that he missed a game from was Week 6 against the San Diego Chargers. Siemian looked bad, was ineffective, and the Broncos got smoked 21-13 (sound like a familiar score Raider fans?). In that game, Siemian threw 50 passes and we just couldn't get out of 2nd gear. Well, that is kinda how I think this game will go. We will see an ineffective offense, and our defense, however stellar that they are, will simply get worn out. They are supermen out there, but even superman needs help from time to time. Unfortunately, help never comes via our offense, and I'm not sure the playcalling will do them any favors either. I'm feeling a similar score to that of week 6. - Pete Baron

Broncos 23, Titans 20

In a large way, the 2016 season rests on this game. We are visitors to a scrappy team that is up and coming who have a potent offense and a good enough defense to be in contention for their division. The Denver Broncos MUST win this game. They have tougher opponents ahead and are fighting to make the post season.

What I like about this is that this time of the year is what our team is all about. It is put-up or STHU time in the NFL. The Broncos may be rebuilding their offense and it may look like a lot of hot garbage, but you have to know that Sanders, DT, Ware, Talib, Ward, Miller, and Harris are talking to the team about one simple phrase, "now is our time."

I see a very hard fought game coming down to the wire and the Broncos finding a way to win late in the 4th quarter. - Sadaraine

Broncos 20, Titans 10

With the uncertainty around the quarterback situation, the big concern for the game against Tennessee has to be the run game for both the offense and the defense. If Denver wants to come out with a win stopping the run and controlling the clock will be key. We saw some of that in Jacksonville, but the competition is a lot stiffer in the Titans.

Their run attack will be happy to exploit the Broncos 28th ranked rush defense, which means the time of possession battle will likely fall to Tennessee by default. Denver's offense has been stagnant most of the season. The flashes of offense that we have seen are outliers, and something that this team can't really rely on. Injuries are mounting, and fatigue is setting in. Concern should be high for this game. Playing on the road, in the elements, against a team that appears to be set up specifically to exploit their weaknesses should spell disaster for Denver.

However, I don't see a loss in this game. I also don't see a lot of points. What I do see is the defense doing what it has done for almost two seasons, while the offense does what it has done for more than that. Just enough. - Adam Malnati

Broncos 25, Titans 21

As of this writing, it's supposed to rain and be in the 40's. Chances fluctuate between 20-80%. If they go with a hobbled Siemian, on a wet field, it doesn't give one the warm fuzzies. For three reasons. A wet field means a slippery field, which increases chances of reinjury. What happens for NE*? Which game is more of a must win? Tennessee or NE*?

It's tough to do drop backs, which help the run game, if your QB is gimpy. We won't win this game without a run game, no matter who the QB is. Lastly, tough to step into a throw and be accurate with a weak left foot. We saw Siemian against SD when it was a non-throwing shoulder, not a foot.

If it does rain, I like Lynch's chances better on a muddy field, if his legs are used. His mobility can be an asset. In a physical mud game, where passes are so dependent on the receivers hands, no matter how accurate the ball, it's a 50-50 chance. I like our DB's much better than the Titans', so Lynch's inaccuracy issues won't be as big a factor like it was against Jacksonville's third ranked pass defense. Beyond that, we need a run game, he gives us a better chance simply because he's more mobile.

If the field is dry, it really comes down to how good is Siemian's foot? If Trevor can be mobile like the second half of the KC game, then we win, 25-21. If it's rainy and they go with Trevor, I don't like those odds and will say flip those scores. If Lynch plays and it's rainy, 19-17. If we have no run game, no matter the QB or conditions then Titans win 28-10. - Julie Dixon

Editor’s Note: It’s looking like perfect football weather, so Broncos win then. :)

Broncos 13, Titans 6

The playoffs start this week for the Denver Broncos. This is projected to be a rainy, sloppy, slugfest with two teams fighting for their playoff lives. Perfect. Those games are just our style. We've been making ugly wins cool since 2015.

Be honest, who do you trust more in a playoff atmosphere, Denver or a perpetual bottom dweller finally showing a sliver of relevance in a bad division?

Oh, and it's December. - Jeff Essary

Broncos 24, Titans 10

The Broncos have been in “must-win” mode since the New Orleans Saints game. Over that time, Denver has gone 2-1. Here we go again. The Broncos defense must stop the Tennessee rushing attack to have a chance. Oh by the way, the Titans have had two weeks to put a game plan together and are No. 3 on the ground. The Denver offense has to finally exploit an atrocious pass defense. Oh by the way, this is the seventh defense ranked 23rd or lower against the pass the Broncos will face. What does is it all mean? Hell if I know, but I think Denver’s defense steps up again. - Ian St. Clair

Broncos 23, Titans 16

Broncos always play their best football in the fourth quarter of a game, often pulling out some amazing plays to get improbable wins. I believe they will do the same in the fourth quarter of the season, beginning with Tennessee. Bad weather and no running game be damned. The weather report keeps getting better and I believe the running game will show some improvement too - all helping the defense do what it does best - win games. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Broncos 23, Titans 21

It looks like right now it will be Trevor Siemian starting at quarterback, unless the Denver Broncos public relations staff has done an incredible job of making us think that Paxton Lynch is going to play second string. What we should hold either quarterback to is the fact that the Tennessee Titans currently employ the 24th (DVoA, Football Outsiders) ranked pass-defense in the NFL. They have allowed 250 passing yards in 7 of their last 8 games. If either of Denver's quarterbacks passes for less than 250 yards in this effort they should be benched.

What we probably won't see a lot of from the Broncos on offense are rushing yards, though Gary Kubiak's face lit up on Friday when asked about Denver's newest free agent Justin Forsett to think that he will be able to do much in his first game with the Broncos is quite the stretch. Success for and with success will be a brief continuation in executing the outside zone stretch scheme that Denver's offensive line (and tight ends Jeff Heuerman and A.J. Derby) executed to perfection twice last week against Jacksonville with the now injured Kapri Bibbs through the six and seven gap. Though Forsett could easily take over as the majority back if he shows up on Devontae Booker's current 2.8 yards-per-carry average.

Defensively, expect to see quite the show as Corey Nelson comes in to replace the hamstring injured Brandon Marshall. Nelson will be in for a heck of a trial by fire as he'll likely be called upon to spy the NFL's hottest quarterback Marcus Mariota and when he's not on Mariota, that's right he'll likely be guarding the NFL's current best tight end, Delanie Walker. There will be trouble out of the backfield of course, with DeMarco Murray who has been targeted averaging 22.8 touches per game, ranking 5th in the NFL currently in red-zone carries (35) and remains the Tennessee Titans go-to receiver in scoring range. Murray has 13 red-zone targets on the season and 6 targets inside the 10-yard line on the year. Mariota by the way has had 35 career touchdown passes in the red-zone and 0 interceptions so far in his brief career. Look for a heavy dosage of Darian Stewart on Murray as the Broncos hopefully continue their run-defense success from the previous 3 weeks.

Denver has not allowed a running back to score a touchdown since week 9 by the way. - Ian Henson

Broncos 24, Titans 16

People seem to forget that the Titans are 6-6 ... in the worst division in football. The Broncos have two more wins playing in one of the toughest divisions in NFL history according to FiveThirtyEight.com.

Not only that, but the AFC West is a whooping 25-9 outside of their own division, while the AFC South is 13-21 outside of their own division. They are getting their wins against each other, while getting their asses whooped outside of it.

The Titans rushing attack does worry me, but I think the Broncos will only give up a few long drives from it. Not enough to win the game. - Tim Lynch

What are your score predictions? Sound off in the comments section!