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Broncos vs Dolphins preview: Denver faces another daunting challenge at home

After getting flogged by the Raiders, up next is one of the surprise teams in the NFL in the Dolphins. Can the Broncos find their way back to the win column?

At this point in 2020, there are more questions than answers.

So basically not much has changed when it comes to the Denver Broncos over the last four seasons. Hey, in this crazy year, at least’s that’s stayed consistent.

Where do the Broncos go from here? Where does Drew Lock go from here?

After getting flogged by a division rival for the second time in four games, Denver (3-6) turns its sights to what I feel is the surprise team in the NFL in the Miami Dolphins (6-3).

Can the Broncos get back in the win column? Again with the questions and we’ll soon get the answers. On the MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I previewed Sunday’s game and the current state of the team.

Offensive Rankings

Miami: Twenty-ninth in overall offense (318.1 yards per game), 28th in rushing (98.7), 26th in passing (219.4), ninth in scoring offense (27.9 points per game).

Denver: Twenty-sixth in overall offense (334.0 yards per game), 19th in rushing (106.6), 23rd in passing (227.4), 28th in scoring offense (20.7 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Miami: Nineteenth in overall defense (371.9 yards per game), 22nd in rushing defense (128.1), 19th in passing defense (243.8), fifth in scoring defense (20.2 points per game).

Denver: Seventeenth in overall in defense (360.0 yards per game), 23rd in rushing defense (128.8), 14th in passing defense (231.2), 27th in scoring defense (28.2 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

Feed Phil

I’m not even saying Phillip Lindsay needs to have 20 carries. But he needs more than four, as he had against the Las Vegas Raiders. He’s the heart and soul of the offense. You would think you would want to get him the ball as much as possible. Just look at Lindsay’s touchdown run against the Los Angeles Chargers and the spark it provided on offense. Get him more than four carries. Get Lindsay involved in the offense. — Ian St. Clair

Creativity please

My key to the game is for someone to force Pat Shumur to rewatch every single second down and 10 play call he has made this season. Then if he calls a running play on his next 2nd and 10 in the first half, relieve him of his duties as offensive coordinator. I’m kidding here, but I’m also not kidding. In other words, Clockwork Orange style. — Tim Lynch

Efficient football from Drew Lock

Philosophically Miami’s defense is closer to New England’s than any of the previous three he’s faced, so there shouldn’t be as much confusion for him as he drops back. If Lock doesn’t play, the Broncos are going to have a really hard time. Brett Rypien relied really heavily on his first read against the Jets and has a marginal arm, which means it’s going to be tough to squeeze the ball into tight windows or 50-50 situations against the Dolphin’s secondary. — Joe Rowles

Lock has no room for error

The key to the Broncos winning this game is to bench Lock after his first INT (should be in the 1st quarter) and get Rypien on the field. Lock isn’t able to run an NFL offense with any semblance of success which means the defense has to be on the field longer which sabotages any chance of winning football by this Broncos team. Rypien doesn’t have the arm strength that Lock does, but at least he is able to quickly make decisions and get the offense to produce something other than 4 INTs and a sub 40 QBR. — sadaraine

Stop worrying about wins and losses

Obviously, you play to win the game (Herm Edwards voice), but the Broncos are who we thought they were (Denny Green, RIP). They are one of the youngest teams in the NFL, ravaged by injury, and out of any real contention in 2020. You are playing for 2021. Force Lock to play through all the crap he has coming to him. Make him suffer. He either comes out the other side stronger, and ready to get better as a QB in the NFL, or he collapses under the pressure, and drifts away like all those terrible QBs that came before him. It doesn’t matter if they beat the Dolphins. — Adam Malnati

What are your keys to Sunday’s game?