The 4-8 Denver Broncos will be on the road to take on the equally 4-8 Carolina Panthers. Both teams will be down key starters. The Broncos due to many, many injuries this season and the Panthers due mostly to a COVID-19 outbreak last week.
With Christian McCaffrey doubtful for this game, that gives the Broncos an additional edge in this game. Given that, most of us here at Mile High Report are predicting a win. Collectively, we see a Broncos 20-16 win over the Panthers on Sunday.
Here is how we broke things out individually.
Broncos 20, Panthers 16
The Broncos have at least two winnable games in their final four and also a home game against the Las Vegas Raiders, which I would also consider winnable. We could end up with a scenario where they win three of their last four and finish 7-9, which would be a huge boost in confidence for the team heading into the offseason and a huge boost for a fan base that has been increasingly frustrated with the mounting losses.
I believe this is a good football team trying to figure things out. All they need is for Drew Lock to play like a competent quarterback. He is ranked dead last in qualifying quarterbacks right now, but if he play like a middle of the pack guy this team will start winning football games. - Tim Lynch
Broncos 20, Panthers 10
Joe Rowles and I talked on this week’s Cover 2 Broncos episode how this game is likely the most winnable one left on Denver’s schedule and probably the only one the will win out of their final four.
The roster situation for both teams makes it a bit of a toss up. Will Carolina be down 3-4 starting skill players? How will Denver being out 3 starters at corner impact that matchup? A lot of unknowns, which means it’s likely going to come down to whoever plays the cleanest game and doesn’t beat themselves.
The Broncos have begun to gel over the last few weeks on the offensive line and in the running game, so if they can lean on that and hold up defensively, they can come out with a win. - Jeff Essary
Panthers 23, Broncos 16
Listen, with the Broncos basically eliminated from the playoffs, I (and some staff members who won’t admit it publicly) are rooting for draft position. This appears to be a winnable game, but a top 5 pick and potentially picking one of the top QBs in the 2021 draft is much more appealing to me. Also, the Panthers winning would improve the Broncos draft position as well. Don’t @ me. - Scotty Payne
Broncos 27, Panthers 17
The Broncos are on the verge of their fourth-straight losing season. Yet Denver has shown improvement in two of the last three games. On the MHR Radio Podcast, Adam and I tackled that quandary (not the 14er in Colorado). If the Broncos are able to take the next step on offense and score some touchdowns, they should win this game. The performance by Denver’s defense this season is nothing short of remarkable given the injuries. On the podcast I said the Broncos would come up a bit short, but I think they win this game. - Ian St. Clair
Broncos 20, Panthers 13
The Broncos will probably do the dumbest thing they can at this point and win a game. Lock will still throw two picks, but will look good enough to make some in our fan base cling to hope that he’s “the guy” (even though most of us know he isn’t). Our defense will play their tails off and likely do enough to help the Broncos taste another small sip of victory. - Sadaraine
Broncos 22, Panthers 16
This is a game the Broncos can win. As long as they slow the tempo on offense, they should be able to control the game. Carolina will be without several players, including Christian McCaffrey, so the defense should be able to find some success. Traveling east and playing the early game is always a struggle for Denver, but I think they can steal a win against a banged up Panthers team. - Adam Malnati