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Sunday’s game is an early “must-win” for the Broncos

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The Broncos 2019 playoff hopes could evaporate if they lose Sunday.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos lost their first week one game in nearly a decade and now are playing a tough Chicago Bears team is who also trying to avoid a tough 0-2 start. This home opener for the Broncos is an early-season “must-win” for them.

The season-opening Monday night showdown against the Oakland Raiders needed to be a win for the Broncos because their schedule moving forward is tough. This isn’t news to us or the Broncos. Going off last seasons win/loss records, the Broncos were facing one of the toughest schedules this season. An early 0-2 hole would likely be a grave the Broncos would not be able to escape.

After a tough home game against the Bears tough defense, they travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. After that, they return home to take on the Nick Foles-less Jacksonville Jaguars which is another game they need to win. After those two, you have the Chargers, Titans, Colts. and Chiefs. Two divisional games against two playoff teams and two other games against one 2018 playoff team and another tough game against the Titans. They play their final game before the bye against a talented Cleveland Browns squad who should be firing on all cylinders by this part of the season.

Going off the way the Broncos played Monday night, I only feel comfortable giving them one win out of those eight games. So potentially starting 1-8 going into the bye week.

Yuck.

I hope I am just overreacting here and the Broncos come out of week two looking better and with a 1-1 record. If they look like trash again and have an 0-2 record, I will be starting some 2020 draft scouting early this year.

News and notes around the league

Kenny Stills: Beauty of living in America is everyone gets an opinion – ProFootballTalk
Receiver Kenny Stills continued to kneel for the national anthem after being traded from Miami to Houston. Stills declared 364 days ago that his activism through protests "is something I'm committed to forever." He reiterated that this week.

How about a Melvin Gordon for Trent Williams trade? – ProFootballTalk
Sometimes the best ideas are hiding in plain sight. With Week Two looming, neither Chargers running back Melvin Gordon nor Washington left tackle Trent Williams have ended their holdouts.

Damarious Randall would have requested trade if Browns had hired Gregg Williams – ProFootballTalk
Damarious Randall said he "hates" former Browns defensive coordinator/interim coach Gregg Williams and would have sought to leave Cleveland if Williams had gotten the team's head coaching job. “I don’t got no love for him at all,’’ Randall told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.

Freddie Kitchens tiptoes around OBJ/Gregg Williams squabble – ProFootballTalk
As Browns coach Freddie Kitchens tries to avoid an 0-2 start to his career as a head coach, he has no desire to find himself in the middle of a fight between one of his current employees and his former boss.

Josh Norman on Dak Prescott: “Anybody can do that” – ProFootballTalk
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott completed 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns in Week One, but Washington cornerback Josh Norman was not impressed.

Gregg Williams: I’ve never coached dirty hits anywhere I’ve been – ProFootballTalk
Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham said on Thursday that Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams "likes to teach" his players to deliver "cheap shots and dirty hits" to opposing players and that Browns players who were on the team when Williams was running the defense in 2017 told him that William...

Cowboys have talked to Dolphins, presumably about Minkah Fitzpatrick – ProFootballTalk
The Dolphins have given Minkah Fitzpatrick permission to seek a trade. The Cowboys could use an upgrade at safety. So have the Cowboys had conversations with the Dolphins the past 24 hours? Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones answered, "Yeah," when asked that question on 105.

Jarvis Landry: I know the guys on this team have heart – ProFootballTalk
The Browns were handed an embarrassing loss by the Titans last Sunday and Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler shared a harsh assessment of the Cleveland team with wide receiver Jarvis Landry during the game.

Steelers' confidence, Sammy Watkins' revival, Rams' rustiness - NFL.com
Why do Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers feel like their best is yet to come? How did Sammy Watkins reinvent himself in 2019? NFL.com's reporters have the scoop on those stories and more.

Fins grant Minkah Fitzpatrick permission to seek trade - NFL.com
The Dolphins have granted DB Minkah Fitzpatrick and his agent permission to seek a trade, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. The former first-round pick is frustrated with his usage in Miami.

Week 2 bold predictions: Browns' Baker Mayfield bounces back; Broncos feast - NFL.com
Held without a sack last week, how will Von Miller answer vs. the Bears? Can Baker Mayfield and the Browns bounce back against the Jets? NFL Network analysts reveal bold predictions for Week 2.

Redskins sign ex-Texans cornerback Aaron Colvin - NFL.com
Aaron Colvin wasn't unemployed for long. One day after he was officially released by the Houston Texans, Colvin signed with the Washington Redskins.

Kyler Murray vs. Lamar Jackson; LeSean McCoy's renaissance - NFL.com
In this week's notebook, Bucky Brooks explores one of the week's most fascinating matchups: Kyler Murray vs. Lamar Jackson. Plus, LeSean McCoy's rebirth, Bill O'Brien's power grab and one ultra-enticing college playmaker.

Jets DC Gregg Williams addresses OBJ's comments - NFL.com
Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams bit back at Odell Beckham Jr.'s suggestion that the DC told his players to hurt the receiver during a preseason tilt when he was an assistant with the Browns.

AB won't be put on Commissioner's Exempt List - NFL.com
Patriots WR Antonio Brown will not be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List, per Ian Rapoport. Brown has participated in practice this week and the team is preparing him to play against the Dolphins.