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Time is now for Russell Wilson, pass game to earn their keep

The Detroit Lions field one of the league’s toughest run defenses, so for the Denver Broncos to have the best chance at victory, the passing attack will have to step up

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After a long stretch of simply managing the offense to victory, Russell Wilson exceeded 200 yards passing for just the second time since week four of the NFL regular season, and added a pair of touchdown passes to push the Denver Broncos to victory.

Now, he’ll need to build upon that performance and then some.

When the Broncos venture east to Detroit this weekend, they’ll be facing one of the top-10 rushing defenses in the league, a unit that surrenders on average less than 100 yards per game. Despite not having any eye-popping performances, the offense has relied heavily on Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine, and Jaleel McLaughlin to control the clock and give the rejuvenated defense breathing room.

Going up against Detroit, though, that won’t be such an easy task. Luckily, the pass defense of Detroit isn’t exactly on par with their run counterparts, surrendering 227 yards per game in the air. The passing game will have it’s opportunities, but capitalizing on said opportunities will be key.

While the passing game did step it up a notch in Los Angeles last weekend, there were still a number of unforced errors.

Jerry Jeudy dropped a pass for what would have been a huge gain and later followed that up by blowing a touchdown reception when he didn’t keep both feet in bounds. That can’t happen.

Russell Wilson was once again sacked multiple times on third down, and he is going to have to make quicker decisions in those scenarios. And on the aforementioned dropped pass by Jeudy, some blame could be assigned to Wilson as well, who didn’t place the ball as well as he could/should have. He is going to have to make the easy completions and hit his reads.

Any mistake(s) in the pass game is going to put excess pressure on the run game to outperform a unit that has not been outperformed much this season. And as such, if they can’t keep the run defense honest, it will produce more punts, leaving less time for the defense to recover. And the Lions’ offense is ranked third in the NFL, putting up nearly 400 yards a game.

This will undoubtedly be the toughest test the Broncos have in the remaining schedule, on the road vs. a playoff-caliber team. The key to victory is going to come down whether the highly paid Wilson and the pass game can lift themselves out of game-manager-occasional-big-play mode and into a unit who is going to move the chains when the opportunity calls.

If this team truly is a playoff team, they are going to have to execute.

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