The Texans are trying to prove that they are the best team in the AFC early in the season, and the Broncos are trying to establish themselves as one of the teams mentioned among the AFC’s elite. For the Broncos to come out with a huge win, a few things have to happen.
Score first: The Broncos have been playing from behind for a majority of time over the first two weeks of the season. Their defense is built to play with a lead, allowing Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil to pin their ears back and rush the quarterback. Scoring first would also take away some of what the Texans want to do, which is run the football.
Win the turnover battle: The Broncos almost won a game last Monday night when they were minus four in turnovers. Imagine what would happen if they were plus one or two in that area.
Put pressure on the quarterback: This is a key every week and it will remain one until the Broncos do it consistently. This is supposed to be a strength of the defense but outside of Miller, opposing quarterbacks have had too much time to throw.
Be patient on offense: A Wade Phillip’s defense is set up to stop the big plays; take what they give you. The running backs and tight ends should be open underneath. The good news is after the game versus the Atlanta Falcons, Peyton Manning is going to be more aware of hitting his check downs.
Run the ball, just enough: No team is going to make a living running the ball on J.J. Watt and Co., but the Broncos must do it just enough to keep the Texans’ pass rush honest.
Force the Texans to throw: They can throw but that’s not what the Texans want to do. They want to pound the football and throw the ball when they want to throw it. Take away the running game, which won’t be easy, and make them do what they don’t want to do.
Win one for Rod: Rod Smith goes into the Ring of Fame on Sunday and he was all about winning. There’s not a better way to honor him than winning a big football game.
Sunday is just another step for the Broncos but it is an important one. The first six games are tough and they just need to survive this stretch. A win versus the Texans would be a huge step in that direction.
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