Posted Sat Dec 20th by Ian Henson
Week 16, while week 15 didn’t turn out quite like the Broncos had hoped, it didn’t turn out at all like the Buffalo Bills would have liked. They’re knocked out- like Denver, if they were to lose their next two and the San Diego Chargers were to win their next two. They’re playing like a team full of Girl Scouts suffering from the recession- vindictive, their only goal in life, at this point, is to make sure that the Denver Broncos do not make the playoffs. Keep in mind that they nearly beat Broncos in the first game last season. There are more than a few things worth mentioning: the Bills starting quarterback J.P. Losman is now their third-string quarterback, after throwing three interceptions against the New York Jets the team feels that Losman should be negated to third-string duty. Quarterback Trent Edwards will most likely get the start against Denver, even though he was listed as, ‘Limited Participation,’ in the Wednesday practice.
Marshawn Lynch vs. Denver Front Four/Middle Three – Lynch took little time introducing himself to the NFL last season while playing in week one against the Broncos. Wouldn’t expect this game to be any different, Denver hasn’t really been able to stop anyone for an entire game this season. Denver had a lot of success running the quote, unquote 4-4 defense last week (save one giant run up the right side, yep, that right side). Marquand Manuel got caught way out of position or that big run would have been relatively harmless. I don’t know if we see Wesley Woodyard at safety again though, this week. It might help, but Lynch has already topped the 1,000-yard mark and looks to continue carrying the team on his back against Denver.
Lee Evans vs. Josh Bell – At this point, you’d probably think that Dre Bly would be covering Evans, but last week against the Carolina Panthers, Bell matched up with Steve Smith an awful lot. So I’m guessing that it will be more of the same with the Bills. Possibly, because Bly is particular to covering a certain side, the offense knows this and sticks their best receiver on the other side when Champ Bailey’s not around (and I’m not falling for him playing again, until the playoffs). So here we have Evans, only a few yards shy of 1,000 and an undrafted rookie in Bell. “I like this kid,” and he will do well against Evans, but with the Bills only playing spoiler at this point, Bell will need to be a spoiler himself and ekeep Evans from hitting the milli mark.
Terrence McGee vs. Brandon Marshall/Eddie Royal – The Bills defense hasn’t been the best team, but McGee has been the shining star that has kept them from being the worst team. Like the Bills, McGee isn’t the best in the league, but he’s the best on the team and he’ll be the one chasing around Marshall as he hopefully gets over doing his Braylon Edwards impression and gets back on track to nabbing 100-balls this season. Marshall only needs 11-receptions in the final two games to hit 100, what I’m more interested in though is the old Marshall… Remember last season, Marshall would just toss him the ball and the yards aftere catch would just come rolling in? The longest pass Marshall has caught this season is 47-yards. Young Royal has a shot at catching a thousand yards this season (he’s sitting at 847 right now).
Paul Posluszny vs. Denver’s rushing backfield– Marshawn Lynch wasn’t the only Bill to debut against the Broncos last season, “Poz” busted into the league last season against Denver with ten tackles. Named the starting middle linebacker just one week before the 2007 season, had an incredible go and then went down in week three against the Patriots for the rest of thee season. This season he’s picked up right where he left off and has 96 going into this game. Hopefully he can add ten or so more to that, as that means that Denver will be averaging five-years plus.
The Bills special teams plays for keeps-
The Bills special teams is no joke and they can kill a team. Similar to the late season game to the Chicago Bears in 2007, that killed the Broncos playoff hopes, here comes the Bills. There hasn’t been much talk this week about the Bills special teams, they are monstrous though and they will kill the Broncos like it’s 2007 if they go unchecked.
Keep it down Cutler-
Every player on the Bills defense is liable to catch an interception, as New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre found out the hard way last Sunday. However, the team is also ranked 23rd in the league in pass defense, it’s time for Cutler to turn on the invincible juice and let ‘er fly.
Eddie Royal’s gotta step it up–
Fact is the Broncos drafted Royal over DeSean Jackson because they thought that Royal would be a better threat at punt/kick returns. Royal surprised everyone- during training camp, preseason and then into the regular season- as a receiver. Yes, he’s still a rookie, but he’s also a player that’s nearly sixteen games into his career, there are hopefully many more, but to get past seventeen games this season Royal’s got to kick it up a notch as a returner and receiver… Especially as a returner.
What do you think Nation? What else should we be looking into this game? Worried about Buffalo, going to have your eyes glued on the San Diego/Tampa game?
Oh! And episode two of the Broncos Nation Podcast is up, Asian Orange and I had a blast this week, we went a little long, but if you have a chance check it out. There’s some answers to the Mike Shanahan article in there (towards the end) and whether or not Jay Cutler deserves MVP mentions. It’s also available on iTunes, if you want to just add it onto your iPod. Lots of love everyone and thanks for checking out the show! Hopefully one of these weeks we can sync schedules with a certain writer here and have him join us.
Stream the new podcast here: