To say the expectations are low at this point is an understatement.
That’s what happens when the Denver Broncos ride a four-game losing streak and look like a team that has given up.
Now the Washington Football Team (2-5) comes to town and it’s another game where the Broncos (3-4) induct another member to the Ring of Fame. This time it’s Peyton Manning. Given what happened on Mike Shanahan Day two weeks ago, don’t hold your breath.
The current odds at DraftKings Sportsbook have Denver as the slight favorite. Since the Broncos are the favorite, if you’re looking to bet Sunday’s game, the spread is the best value at -115. As for the total, the over/under sits at 43.5. One factor to keep an eye on is the weather. The forecast calls for cloud cover with an 8% chance of rain and temps in the high 40s to low 50s.
Washington: Twentieth in overall offense (349.6 yards per game), 13th in rushing (119.0), 22nd in passing (230.6), tied 22nd in scoring offense (20.9 points per game).
Denver: Twenty-second in overall offense (347.6 yards per game), 18th in rushing (106.6), 16th in passing (250.8), 23rd in scoring offense (20.0 points per game).
Washington: Twenty-ninth in overall defense (406.0 yards per game), 10th in rushing defense (105.4), 32nd in passing defense (300.6), 32nd in scoring defense (30.0 points per game).
Denver: Fifth in overall defense (323.4 yards per game), eighth in rushing defense (99.3), 10th in passing defense (224.1), fourth in scoring defense (18.1 points per game).
Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.
Dress up like an NFL franchise
Sunday is not only PFM Day, it’s Halloween. As someone pointed out on social media, and I don’t remember who, hopefully the Broncos go as an NFL franchise on Sunday since that’s the only way Broncos Country will see one. — Ian St. Clair
Just play competent football for once
This is still a very talented (albeit beat-up) roster. Of course, that only makes the team’s recent futility that much more frustrating for everyone involved. But it’s also pretty simple: If the Broncos will play to their own talent level rather than playing down to their opponents or, as may be the case, down to the level of the coaching/playcalling, they’ll win this game. — Taylor Kothe
Generate turnovers. That’s how defense wins games. This defense gives up only a few points and still can’t generate a win because they don’t turn the ball over. If the Broncos can get some turnovers, they can win the game. — Adam Malnati
Broncos offense needs to take advantage of their strengths
I’m eager to see how the trio of Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick can look. Washington’s playing a ton of single-high shells, leaning on cover 1 and cover 3 more than most teams in the league. The defense is built around William Jackson III and Kendall Fuller holding up in single coverage on the boundary, but neither has been good when healthy, which is why the Football Team’s had one of the worst pass defenses in the league. — Joe Rowles
Hand OC mic to Peyton
Peyton Manning is in the house to be honored for his Hall of Fame induction. What better way to honor him than to remind Broncos Country who really ran the entire offense from 2012-2015. Let Pat Shurmur hand out helmets or something and put Manning in charge of the Broncos offense. Hell, put a jersey on him and let him use his pre-snap brilliance to get the ball out in time to hit Jeudy in stride for three, maybe four touchdowns. It may be the only way the Broncos avoid embarrassing themselves on “Peyton Manning Day” the way they did on “Mike Shanahan Day.” — Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann