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No surprise, key to a Broncos victory is in the trenches

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Can the Denver Broncos pass the test against the Dallas Cowboys in a critical week 2 matchup?

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

What is painfully obvious after the season opener is the Denver Broncos were a tale of two teams in their Monday Night Football win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

With the Dallas Cowboys coming to Mile High, the question will be, which team will take the field? Will it be the inspired Broncos of the first three quarters, or the timid squad that almost squandered a win?

As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the latest Mile High Report Radio Podcast, the keys to the game are quite simple. It all boils down to the Broncos play in the trenches. The offensive and defensive lines will determine the winner.

Can the defensive line stop Ezekiel Elliott, or will Dallas win the battle up front and open up lanes for Elliot to exploit? To say that Dallas has the best offensive line in the NFL might be an understatement. The Broncos had some success against the Chargers, but there is still an issue with depth.

Derek Wolfe is still not 100 percent, but it looks like Zach Kerr will be back from his knee injury. Domata Peko and Adam Gotsis were important keys to stopping Melvin Gordon, and will continue to be keys up front. If Jared Crick can also get back from his bout with back spasms, that will be a huge help. Depth is a problem on the defensive line, and keeping guys on the field is a must if Denver wants to have a chance in the game.

Stopping the run means getting off the field. That can only serve to help the defense. However, the other side of the ball must do their part to ensure the defense stays off the field. That all starts on the offensive line, which must keep Trevor Siemian clean, and open lanes for C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles.

The offensive line could be starting in a hole if Ronald Leary can’t get through the league mandated concussion protocol. However, seeing him out on the practice field is a big step in the right direction. Even after Leary went out, the Broncos were capable of giving Siemian time, and opening up lanes for the running backs.

Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram were a good first test. Garett Bolles had some solid moments, but Menelik Watson looked out of step in the pass blocking. It will definitely need to be cleaned up for the Broncos to have success moving the football.

If Denver is going to have have any true chance at a win, keeping the defense off the field is the first step. They showed in week one that it is possible to pick up third downs, and keep the chains moving. Dallas is coming off a win against a New York Giants team that struggled without Odell Beckham, Jr.

Were the Cowboys really that good on defense, or were the Giants just that bad? The Broncos will test that question on Sunday.

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Poll

What is the key to a Broncos victory against the Cowboys?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Offensive and Defensive line winning in the trenches
    (436 votes)
  • 7%
    Trevor Siemian making big plays
    (48 votes)
  • 8%
    No Fly Zone shutting down Dak and Dez
    (52 votes)
  • 0%
    Special Teams
    (3 votes)
  • 11%
    C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles taking over
    (67 votes)
606 votes total Vote Now