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Week 1 GDT: LA Chargers @ Denver Broncos


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Week 1 LA Chargers @ Denver Broncos

Where: Denver

When: 8:20 MTN ESPN

 

 

 

3 Keys To The Game

1. Can the offense improve from last year and stay on the field? 

     -This last year was a big reason why we lost a lot of games, especially against the early game against the Chargers. Seeing any form of life and a competent offense would go a long way to making        the playoffs in the long run.

2. See improvement's in the run defense.

    -Arguably the biggest weakness on the team, Gordon has improved every year in the league and is a good test for us. 

3. Fresh start for new faces

    -We have a rookie HC, rookie DC, rookie LT, rookie PR, and essentially a first time full starter in Simmons. Getting off to a good start is key for confidence and we have a very good record in home openers. 

 

Edited by broncosfan07
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Glad we're finally here....been too long.

Things to look for before/during the game:

1.  Do Barrett, Crick and Wolfe all get cleared to play Week 1?   Wolfe and Crick seem like locks, but Barrett's addition would be huge given Ray's out.   

2.  Who gets the 3rd WR job?  I know Fowler was the one pegged early in PS, but IMO Latimer really stood out in his early work (then got dinged up, so never got to see him build on it).

3.  Run D - as @broncosfan07 already mentioned, probably our 2nd biggest mismatch - their OL wasn't great, but it's much improved (and would have been even more if Forrest Lamp their 2nd rounder didn't get knocked out with a torn ACL for 2017).   It's why having Wolfe back is so huge for us for sure.   

4.  Their TE/RB's in the pass game vs. our ILB/safeties - the No Fly Zone shouldn't have a problem matching up against their WR's (although Harris-Keenan Allen in the slot should be great to watch), but we were absolutely exposed vs. teams with good TE/RB pass-catching options.   This is where Gordon's progress last year is worth noting - not just a running threat, but became very good in the swing pass/screen game.   And while Antonio Gates is the name, Hunter Henry is the emerging TE that we have to neutralize.    This is where Simmons/Parks should help, although I'm really nervous on seeing how Todd Davis or Zaire Anderson fare in pass coverage (the idea that @BroncosFan2010 originally alluded to with a hybrid S/LB  for Ward and which @AnAngryAmerican floated of having for Carter now, makes a lot more sense on passing downs).  

5.  Our T's vs. Bosa/Ingram - if their run game vs. our run D is our 2nd biggest mismatch, this has to be our worst.   Bolles/Watson are likely going to need help, but in reality, you can't protect both sides each play.  One of them is going to have to at least hold their own long enough for Siemian to get the ball out...which brings us to...

6.  DT - based on play percentages, the Chargers' best CB Jason Verrett, who really emerged as a true shut-down CB before getting hurt last year, likely matches up against Manny Sanders more than DT.   That means DT's got the best matchup this week.  He needs to win that for Siemian to have an early read open look.

7.  Special teams - we've been auditioning our guys for this unit, so the preseason struggles are understandable.  But now it's showtime, and winning the field position game is going to be crucial, so we don't have the Chargers lean comfortably on their run game, and our O doesn't have to play with a limited playbook with bad field position.  

Key injuries:

Chargers won't have rookies OG Forrest Lamp, WR Mike Williams, or their starting MLB Denzel Perryman.  Perryman's injury really opens up a chance for our run game to have more success, big break for us that we face them without Perryman for both games (he's on IR so can't be recalled before we've finished our 2 games, same deal as Ray).

We won't have Shane Ray, hopefully we'll have Shaq Barrett back (I'm assuming Wolfe & Crick play, given they were green-lit earlier this week).   Kyle Peko and Zach Kerr are also likely out.  

Edited by Broncofan
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13 minutes ago, champ11 said:

It kinda sucks that Bosa is gonna be an absolute star for a long time. He might finally be the difference for the Chargers moving forward. 

Shows the argument about taking BPA early.  Chargers GM Telesco was roundly criticized because Bosa was seen as a 3-4 mismatch.  Instead the Chargers used more hybrid scheme and then now switched to a 4-3 which is tailored to him.   You get the best talent and fit scheme to help them succeed and not the other way around.  Telesco has nailed the past 2 drafts top 5 each year IMO.  Taking Bosa looks like their Von Miller moment and the 2016 draft year for them looks early on as good as our 2011 draft.   And 2017 roundly seen as a top 5-10 draft and only that low because they took Mike Williams as a need pick (with their worry on Allen's ability to stay healthy) early.    

If they had Perryman I'd be worried about that D overall. I still am vs.  our OL.  Getting Verrett back and adding Desmond King as a S along with that front 7 (Jatavius Brown is an emerging breakout at the 4-3 Will there and Perryman was made for the MLB spot in a 4-3), their D is going to be a force to be reckoned with for a while as soon as next season IMO.   Them losing Perryman and Lamp were huge breaks for us they clearly made the most ground out of all the AFCW teams this year by a mile.  The AFCW is going to be a bear of a division this year.  

Edited by Broncofan
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Regular season football is back. Woohoo!

As for the game I reckon it will be a close one. The Chargers with Rivers can always put up points but think our defense will be able to contain. Hopefully Siemian and the offence can be consistent throughout the game and score regularly.

I think we'll win, but just feel it will be so close. Think both teams are very evenly matched.

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Denver by a touchdown. I think our ceiling is 10-6 wildcard this year, but we're more likely to be 6-10 or 7-9, but the media darling Chargers are already setting up as a big disappointment. They're not a very good team and I think we win 20-13.

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47 minutes ago, BroncosFan2010 said:

Ya, I see Denver and SD as fighting for the 3rd spot in the division and similar in talent across the board. The past few drafts for SD have been phenomenal. I miss the days of them drafting guys like Jonus Mouton in R2 to play ST lol.

LA, bruh.

Man eff the chargers and Spanos. There is no way I am driving up to LA to watch them lose to Denver. It was so convenient to watch them here in SD.

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2 hours ago, paul-mac said:

Denver by a touchdown. I think our ceiling is 10-6 wildcard this year, but we're more likely to be 6-10 or 7-9, but the media darling Chargers are already setting up as a big disappointment. They're not a very good team and I think we win 20-13.

That's doable. I think that the Broncos need to run 25+ times a game, though. I don't see Siemian as someone who can throw 30+ passes every game, and Denver has a better backfield than they had last year at this time. 

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For me this game (and really the season) is gonna come down to how much our running game has improved. If we can't run the ball it's gonna be a long, frustrating year. Defensively, I think we'll start out a bit shaky, and settle in as people gel/get healthy. I'm expecting Von Miller to fairly quiet for the first few games; without Ray, teams are gonna double Von like nobodie's business. Hopefully Barrett can step up and take some of the pressure off. Also curious to see how much the loss of Ward is going to effect their chemistry early on. 

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8 hours ago, champ11 said:

It kinda sucks that Bosa is gonna be an absolute star for a long time. He might finally be the difference for the Chargers moving forward. 

http://www.chargers.com/news/2017/09/07/why-von-miller-thinks-most-talented-bolts-team-hes-faced

 

Von Miller has gone from dude with a warrant to one of the classiest guys in the NFL. Not just theee quotes but his bottle of wine to all his "rivals." Not only do I wish more players were like Von on the field but I hope more players act like him off the field. Definitely Orion of a professional. 

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3 hours ago, Boltstrikes said:

http://www.chargers.com/news/2017/09/07/why-von-miller-thinks-most-talented-bolts-team-hes-faced

 

Von Miller has gone from dude with a warrant to one of the classiest guys in the NFL. Not just theee quotes but his bottle of wine to all his "rivals." Not only do I wish more players were like Von on the field but I hope more players act like him off the field. Definitely Orion of a professional. 

Yea I saw that earlier and was gonna share it now actually but yea he is definitely a class act and the wine was a nice touch last year. Hard not to like the guy even if he's on a rival team it's still hard. Perhaps I'll hate him a little on Monday haha. Just a good dude though and good for the NFL. Much respect for him. 

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This is one of those typical first of the year games where I really do not know what to expect. That's exacerbated by the fact that both teams have rookie HCs with no track record but three of the four coordinators (all except Woods) have long histories. 

A few thoughts.

  • I worry about Watson and Bolles in pass protection against Bosa and Ingram. McCoy is going to scheme something up to counteract our weaknesses here. I would ordinarily expect a run-heavy game-plan early to setup some play-action later on but in this case I am expecting the unexpected. 
  • Obviously, I like our pass defense and pass rush against San Diego. I think Von has his way with Okung even though San Diego will game plan for him and that may open up some opportunities for Shaq, who I think has a decent game in his first action of the year. 
  • I think there will be a big special teams play from one side or the other that makes a big difference in the game, maybe even decides it. I am anxious to see Olivo's real special teams units with their full compliment of players. 
  • Our run defense is going to get a test against Melvin Gordon, who is a bruiser back but also a good receiver out of the backfield. I'm really hoping we've found a way to solve our problems covering RBs out of the backfield. 
  • I'm interested to see how the trio of Simmons/Park/Carter do against the San Diego TEs.

I'm going to be optimistic and project a close, low-scoring game. I think the offense shows a few flashes but a big play or even a score from the defense or special team unit ultimately makes the difference. 

Broncos: 23

Chargers: 16

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