Week 4 is here and for the Broncos that means a road trip out to Nashville, Tennessee to take on the running attack of the Titans. This also means a big test for the Broncos defense and a good time to see how well this team goes about making improvements after a tough loss against Peyton Manning and the Colts on our own turf.
As usual the QB face off is always interesting to debate and compare. Denver's starter, Kyle Orton had a career-high 476 passing yards against Indy and while it's great news he can throw, the lack of Denver's running game is just flat embarrassing. We'll talk about that later. Orton has actually been pretty accurate and reliable in our 4 games now, after having a little over a year to adjust to McD's system. I'm very confident in Orton and if we can balance out our running game with our passing game, we'll be fine. On the other hand, we have a shall we say "moody" Vince Young for the Titans. After having a "meltdown" on the field against a tough Pittsburgh defense in week 2, Young was pulled and veteran backup Kerry Collins took over behind center. When it comes to these 2 quarterbacks, Orton & Young, Denver's starter has the better stats and leadership to lead his team to a win on Sunday.
While the QB situation is fairly easy to decide, the RB situation is pretty much plain & simple. The Titans have a running attack with one player in Chris Johnson while Denver has several potentially good running backs who can't seem to find a gap & run or get injured at the most inopportune time. It was announced today that Knowshon Moreno will indeed miss Sunday's game so we must find a way to establish a running game with Bucky, Maroney & Brown. And with Chris Johnson in their backfield, Tennessee is 14-4 when he rushes for 100 yards. Johnson also had a "comeback" so to speak with his second 100-yard game (125 yards to be exact) this season last week in their win over the Giants after he was held to just 34 yards against the Steelers. Our defense has LOTS of work to do to hold this guy down. Plain & simple, Chris Johnson must be stopped.
Key note: While containing CJ is on top of the to-do list, our red zone offense needs serious help. Against Indy, we managed to get in the red zone 5 times, yeah FIVE times and we come away with 1 TD & 2 field goals. Makes me so mad. The Colts D clearly held their own but the effort we put into trying to get 6 points is hardly called effort. I love the idea of going for it on 4th & goal but it shouldn't even take that last chance to get that ball in the endzone (without penalties might I add). This team has had plenty of troubles with red zone offense over the years... get with it already.
Our defense has gotten a bit sloppy, they're main focus should be on stopping the run. Although, our pass defense (23rd) is actually worse than our run defense (10th). And depending on how well we cover the receivers vs. how we stop CJ, Vince Young will either be throwing more passes or we'll become a door mat for Johnson to run all over and wipe his cleats on. It should also be noted that Tennessee's pass defense is 7th in the league, which mean if we don't get a good running game going and have to stick to passing, we are up for an even bigger challenge. Champ Bailey looked pretty solid against Indy, I'd love to see him get a pick-6 straight from Young.
Key note: Our list of problems has increased in just one week... no running game, injuries, turnovers & now an embarrassing red zone offense. Turnovers have been torture to this team and sealed our losses to Indy & Jacksonville. Winning the turnover battle is key, just like fixing our red zone offense & running game problems. Injuries are just something we have to deal with.
Well, there is actually some good news in this department. CB Andre Goodman and OL Ryan Harris will be back for Sunday's match-up, thank goodness!! As for the usual bad news, for the second week in a row RB Knowshon Moreno will be out nursing a hammy injury. Most likely he'll be back for the Baltimore game... we'll need him for that one, no questions. Also, Spencer Larsen (ankle) and Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) will miss the game. Brian Dawkins (ankle) is also on the injury report but is listed as probable for the game. I'll bet ya anything he'll play, he's a fighter.
On the other side, the Titan's defense was dealt a pretty bad card with CB Jason McCourty out with a forearm injury, which he had surgery on Tuesday. Their defense will also be without DE Jacob Ford (knee) and DT Tony Brown (knee). Their defense will have a big challenge if our offense can get a good thing going.
I haven't really decided if this will be a close game or a blow out, of course, I'd love to see Denver rout these guys while holding CJ to less than at least 70 yards. It's not that big of a stretch. I'm gonna be bold (surprise, surprise) and go with 38-30, Broncos win it. Crush 'em boys!!
Here are some good links, a really good one from Orton.
Broncos – Titans Preview
And as promised, I have some trivia questions for you all. Gonna find out how Bronco-savvy... Bronco-smart you boys are.
- Against what team did running back Terrell Davis equal an NFL record with 2 two-point conversions in 1997?
- Opposing teams converted only 29.5 percent of their third-down opportunities against Denver in 2003. What were the only two NFL defenses that were stingier on third down?
- Who played more seasons for the Broncos than any other player?
Keep the faith Broncos Country...
GO BRONCOS in 2010!!!!