The Mile High Report’s Ian St. Clair pens his third article for DenverBroncosUK.com.
What Case Keenum’s performance against the Oakland Raiders shows me is two-fold: The type of leader and player Keenum is, but also that this offense can struggle yet move past it, make adjustments and do what’s needed to move the ball and win games. And I’m not sure you can have one without the other. It also should give the Broncos offense, but also the defense, confidence heading into Baltimore.
The key for any team is what happens when it faces adversity. Until you see a team respond, you have no idea what kind of makeup it has. To see Denver’s offense not let the initial struggles in both games this season derail it, is huge. That did not happen the previous seasons, and to see it in the first two games of 2018, is a positive sign. Now let’s see what the Broncos look like when they play a complete game.
Thomas in trouble?
Since Demaryius Thomas is a veteran who has experienced just about anything and everything a player can in the NFL, I’m not overly concerned with his performances so far. He knows dropped passes are unacceptable and must get it fixed. If Thomas doesn’t fix it, even he knows he can’t be on the field. The other reason I’m not concerned is there are guys on the roster just as capable if Thomas doesn’t get this fixed.
No more No Fly Zone?
Whether Denver’s secondary can show enough improvement is the key to the game. What will help that unit is to play press coverage, as opposed to playing 15 yards off receivers. If defensive coordinator Joe Woods uses press coverage, that plays to the strength of the defense which is the pass rush. The thought heading into Sunday’s game must and should be: How do we allow Von Miller and the Orange Rush to wreck Joe Flacco and this game?
Whoever is the primary running back is not hugely important, as long as it keeps the Broncos No. 2 in rushing offense. If that means Phillip Lindsay is the primary back, go for it. If it means Denver rides the hot hand, go for it. I like what the combo of Lindsay and fellow rookie Royce Freeman bring to the offense. I think both of them play off each other and set the offense up to have success. Freeman has been fun to watch too, don’t lose sight of that. As long as Devontae Booker stays on the sideline, the Broncos win.
Tougher test awaits
It’s always a challenge to go on the road in the NFL and win; especially when that game is on the East Coast. The Ravens will honor Ray Lewis, so you know the team and crowd will be fired up. Limit the mistakes, big plays and try to play a complete game. The Broncos have two of the major components to win on the road — run the ball and play strong defense (as long as Woods has his secondary play press coverage). I also think Keenum will play his best game of the season.
With all that said, I’ll go for the Broncos to win this one 23-16.