Fans are jumping ship like its the Titanic around here with the Denver Broncos slumping to an 0-2 start due largely to an amazing streak of bad injury luck through two games. Here’s the thing though, this team is actually pretty good. They’re just hurt.
This game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn’t a given by any means, especially considering how badly the Broncos are beat up. Tom Brady will probably be good enough to win this game, so it’ll come down to the ‘next man up’ on Denver’s side to pull out a victory.
Collectively, the Mile High Report staff fell on the negative side of things with a 29-18 win for the visiting team. However, not all of us are so down on this team. Here is how we see the Broncos-Buccaneers final score going down individually.
Broncos 24, Bucs 22
I am glad I usually kick things off, because you all are going to have to suffer through several very negative predictions from our fellow Broncos fans here. I get that Jeff Driskel doesn’t inspire a whole lot of hope long-term. The thing is, he isn’t the long-term guy. He just needs to manage the game and get enough points on the board to help the Broncos get a win.
With all of the negativity and people counting the Broncos out this week, I would expect them - especially the defense - to come out swinging. Tom Brady will lead a potential game-tying drive late, but the defense comes up big to stop the two-point try. You know, like that time Bradley Roby picked off Brady in the AFC Championship Game. - Tim Lynch
Bucs 31, Broncos 13
No Drew Lock, Von Miller, Courtland Sutton, A.J. Bouye, Dre’Mont Jones, Phillip Lindsay, Devontae Harris, DeMarcus Walker...and more. The team is decimated and they’re facing a talented Buc’s squad that will likely be too much for the reserves.
Even with Drew Lock, the Broncos defense would have no answer for 6’5” Mike Evans or Chris Godwin. Whichever one is lined up against rookie corner Ojmeudia will get peppered with targets and likely be highly successful. Also, Mike Evans length will be difficult for the Broncos corners to deal with in certain moments. The Tampa defense led by former Denver Broncos pass rusher Shaq Barrett will victimize right tackle Elijah Wilkinson and a Broncos offensive line that couldn’t protect their quarterbacks last week.
Finally, backup quarterback Jeff Driskell will not be able to keep up and will struggle against the Buccaneers secondary led by breakout cornerback Carlton Davis.
0-3, here we come. - Scotty Payne
Bucs 38, Broncos 16
The Broncos will have to overcome far too many injuries to have a chance in this game. Tampa Bay brings too many weapons on offense for the defense to feel comfortable in any situation. Bryce Callahan is the only CB that can really be trusted, which leaves most of the field open for Tom Brady to pick apart. The defensive line is decimated, and don’t seem to be creating any push up front.
On offense, the Broncos will get to watch up close and personal what Shaq Barrett has become. Elijah Wilkinson looks more like a matador than a tackle. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see a “Khalil Mack vs. Michael Schofield” type game for Barrett.
Hype gone. - Adam Malnati
Bucs 24, Broncos 20
Perhaps the key question as we enter Week 3: Where does Denver go from here? When I originally posted this prediction, I had it as a blowout for Tampa. I said that probably means that Driskel and the Broncos will cover the spread. I think they will cover on Sunday, but I just don’t see how the defense slows these weapons for the Bucs. And since Denver can’t cover tight ends, I have a feeling this is the week Rob Gronkowski highlights his return to the NFL. I also have no faith in Denver’s offensive line to block Barrett. - Ian St. Clair
Broncos 24, Bucs 21
The magic of Mile High will once again get the better of Tom Brady. Despite a tightly matched game through four quarters, the Bucs won’t be able to stop Brandon McManus’ field goal for the win as time expires in the game (and on Tom Brady). - Jess Place