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Week 3 GDT: Denver Broncos(2-0) @ Buffalo Bills(1-1)


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Week 3 GDT: Denver Broncos(2-0) @ Buffalo Bills(1-1)

 

Where: New Era Stadium

When: 9/24 11:00 AM MTN

 

 

3 Keys to Victory

 

1.  Start fast- We are historically pretty bad going back East in the early games with a lot of mental lapses. Starting off fast is key, especially when in the past the team has put themselves in a hole in these type of games. Unlike the past 2 seasons(minus the playoffs) the team through 2 games has started off very well as opposed to the offense under Kubes.

 

2.  Keep Trevor clean- Bolles was always going to have his ups and downs but he was clearly the best tackle on the team. How the OL gels without him for the next few weeks may determine our season, Stephenson and Watson may get Trevor killed if both start, so I expect to see more running which theoretically should be a strength now.

 

3.   Shut down McCoy- This should be pretty obvious but the Bills will only go as far as McCoy can carry them, really like Tyrod as a player but without the run game going they can be shut down and it's an offense that thus far has only scored 24 points. Stopping 2 very good RBs back to back weeks would go a long way for building confidence in the run defense.

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I just hope this isn't a trap game. I'd like to think VJ has this team thinking each game at a time but it's hard not to look past these lowly Bills and at the very good divisional Raiders.

I think this game might be ugly which will mean we need McManus to earn that extension. I still expect us to pull it out by winning 20 to 13.

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I always do worry about East Coast road trips and an 11am kickoff but I came across an interesting stat, the Broncos have won 14 of their last 17 games, all on the road, when playing the morning game. 

I don't know too much about Buffalo as they're rarely if ever on TV in Colorado, aside from their once-a-year Thursday night game, but just like last week, I think this is a game where it comes down to stopping LeSean McCoy. The Bills defense is well-ranked, 2nd in yards allowed and 4th in points allowed, but they've played the Jets and Panthers, hardly prolific offenses. 

I think this is certainly a winnable game for us and I think we take care of business with relative ease. 

Denver: 27

Buffalo: 13

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I think this is a win as long as McManus shows up. We have been almost too good at scoring these first two games, and wont manage to get TD's nearly every time we make it into our own territory, so we are going to have a few games that require 3-4 FG's and this feels like one of them. Buffalo has a tough defense that can hold-the-line in the RZ quite well, but that lacks the dynamic playmakers to really put a team away (Like our pass rush did to DAL), so I don't truly fear them as a defense that can literally win the game, but rather one that can make a TD a FG, and in that case we need Brandon to break this mini slump and start nailing his kicks again.

Our defense just needs to keep playing surprisingly well stuffing the run and let the CB's play man. I don't think we need to truly worry about any of the Bills receiving threats. They are a pretty mediocre, chain moving, non YAC bunch. I would put Talib on Jordan Matthews as they have similar size/weight/speed ratios, and Matthews isn't the type of super agile slot that gives Talib fits, more of a Eric Deker type slow/#2 outside threat. A guy that Talib should handle IMO.

So, ya, stop McCoy from breaking any big gains, try to contain Tyrod and let Talib lock down Jordan Matthews. That stops their offense IMO. And remember to not let Tyrod beat you deep on the PA, hopefully the defense knows how to smell that from a few years of **** Rennison as our Offensive Yes Man, I mean Offensive Coordinator.

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So, @BroncoBruin alluded to this, but while BUF is clearly inferior team talent-wise by a fair margin, there some really important ways that they pose real matchup problems:

1.  BUF Run Scheme very different than DAL's  - their power run scheme is actually quite different than DAL's.  DAL's runs a power/zone mix, but they assume their guys are good enough to create holes for their RB to hit an then they block into the 2nd level so well it's scary.   We just didn't let Zeke get to the 2nd level, by loading up the box and daring Dak to beat us - and he couldn't.  PFF did a great breakdown, and it's probably a formula D's with decent secondaries are going to use more and more (I expect Chiefs & Chargers to exactly this vs. DAL with their CB's):

 

DAL didn't adjust, and that's a huge credit to DC Joe Woods for coming up with that scheme.  I suspect that BUF will counter this as unlike DAL they use a FB, and keep more 2-TE sets.   So we did a great job vs. DAL, but we can't assume we'll have the same success vs. a team that's different than DAL in how they attack - and more importantly, plays at home.  That half-count advantage we had at home vs. OL is now gone.   I'm not saying we're not better - we are clearly better by a lot.  But assuming we can negate every run O, especially on the road, that's another level in play.  Can't wait to see if we're at that level or not.

 

2.  BUF's front 7 is much better than DAL's front 7 - other than ILB Sean Lee, BUF outplays DAL on their front 7, and were a huge reason why they kept the game close @ CAR - they sacked Cam 3x and terrorrized their LT Matt Kalil.  See the issue?  And that's because they identified Kalil as the weak spot.   Maybe they just stick to Watson as the guy to exploit.   If we put Stephenson at LT, I'm REALLY worried for Siemian.   As I've said before, we can plan to help 1 T on passing plays, it's almost impossible to design help for both sides.  I'd hope we have Barbre ready to play LT if Stephenson struggles (I expect that), or better yet, just stick to Barbre at T (and have McGovern ready if Garcia struggles at LG).   They will no doubt attack our T's, it served them well vs NYJ and CAR, and it's our weakness here as well.  

 

3.  Road game and early - we suck at early road games.  No way around it.  And, as I touched on earlier, now we are the ones who are reacting a half-count late on OL vs. their D, and we don't have that advantage on D anymore.   That's a huge reason why home teams do much better than road teams.   


Now, those are the 3 problems we face.  The good news is that we are more talented on paper on both sides of the ball, and even at QB now.   Probably the only position where we are weaker than them is at T and RB.   

So, the keys:

 

1.  As @broncosfan07 already mentioned, the first key is get off to an early lead.    Getting a lead doesn't force us in obvious passing downs, which brings us to...

2.  The next as BF07 said is to keep Siemian clean - the best way is to avoid 3rd and long - we have the best 3rd down O and 3rd down D - our O's success is on keeping them manageable.  That shouldn't change.      Our T play is our Achilles, and so staying away from obvious passing downs is the key to our success.   That's not to say don't pass - but be unpredictable.  Play action.  Pass on 1st down.  Etc., etc.  

3.  I think as in the first 2 games, we need BOTH DT and Sanders to shine.   So far, so good  - the stat lines are lower than with other WR stars because we've only needed them for 3Q, not a full game.  I think this game stays a lot closer, so we need both to win outright vs. inferior DB's.  I'm confident they will.  

4.  Limiting Shady is a must - but unlike Elliott, McCoy can hurt us in the pass game as much as the run (Elliott is just learning this part).   I'd hope we see Stewart on him just like he was on Elliott, need our surest tackler on him.   A LB on him is a huge mismatch they will exploit over and over.

I don't see us winning big - I think a 20-13 game, maybe a bigger game because we get a DST TD, is in play.  But I expect this to stay within a score in the 4Q, where I'd hope our better talent shines through as guys wear down.   

Edited by Broncofan
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2 minutes ago, BroncoBruin said:

We're actually 11-2 in the early game window since 2012. Can't imagine any team from a non-eastern time zone has fared better. 

We win a lot of the games but the quality of play goes down.

Regardless of the time slot we have been a very good road team since Elway took over.

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20 minutes ago, BroncoBruin said:

We're actually 11-2 in the early game window since 2012. Can't imagine any team from a non-eastern time zone has fared better. 

 

15 minutes ago, broncosfan07 said:

We win a lot of the games but the quality of play goes down.

Regardless of the time slot we have been a very good road team since Elway took over.

Yes, the quality of play is pretty ugly compared to later games (the "suck" comment was strong, but struggle compared to later applies)...still, it's also why I think we'll win...but nowhere near the level of dominance that appears on paper.  

If it was just the early game, it woudn't be as much of an issue, but there are ways that an inferior team talent-wise can kept the game close and hope for lucky breaks/TO's to tell the tale, and BUF match up very well vs. us in the ways to keep us contained, as outlined above.  In contrast, the Giants look awful, but don't have the same matchup issues with us except their pass rush vs. our T's...so at home, I'd be surprised if we didn't win by 10+, even 14+.  But getting ahead of ourselves, so I'll stick to Week 3 LOL.

Edited by Broncofan
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Vance Joseph has impressed me in his two games so far. He strikes me as the sort of coach that isn't going to get complacent and would have his guys practicing at 10am all week so that come Sunday they're ready to play ball at that time. 

 

I think we take this because we're a flat out more talented team at nearly every position

 

Denver 20

Buffalo 10

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If we stop McCoy, we should win this game. They are devoid of weapons offensively, and honestly we should be shutting their offense down. The problem is going to be the travel, first road game of the year, a really tough environment to play in, and they have a very good defense- well coached. One thing that works in our favor is knowing their offensive scheme because it's Rick Dennison.

I expect a tougher game than most think, but Denver pulls it out by 10 or so- thinking 24-14.

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7 minutes ago, broncos67 said:

If we stop McCoy, we should win this game. They are devoid of weapons offensively, and honestly we should be shutting their offense down. The problem is going to be the travel, first road game of the year, a really tough environment to play in, and they have a very good defense- well coached. One thing that works in our favor is knowing their offensive scheme because it's Rick Dennison.

I expect a tougher game than most think, but Denver pulls it out by 10 or so- thinking 24-14.

I agree, I think the combination of coming off a big win with Oakland looming, the trip across the country, and they have a good D, makes this a lot closer game than any of us would hope for.  McManus better bring his A game this week

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21 hours ago, Broncofan said:

3.  Road game and early - we suck at early road games.  No way around it.  And, as I touched on earlier, now we are the ones who are reacting a half-count late on OL vs. their D, and we don't have that advantage on D anymore.   That's a huge reason why home teams do much better than road teams.   

Did you see the stat I posted? The Broncos have won 14 of their last 17 games, all on the road, when playing the morning game. 

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