The first four games of the season, the Broncos were unbeatable. The second four games, Denver was lucky to only lose one game. Although the Denver Broncos go into the bye week and the second half of the season 7-1, they will have to play much better to make it the Super Bowl.
The Broncos have the second-best record in the NFL behind the Kansas City Chief’s 8-0. Ironically the two teams are both in the AFC West, so Denver is in second place in their division. The Broncos have the best offense in the NFL leading the league in points per game at 42.9, which includes 40 offensive touchdowns. In eight games, Denver has scored 343 points. The Broncos lead the NFL in passing offense averaging 361.3 passing yards per game. Denver also leads the NFL in run defense allowing an average of only 77.1 rushing yards per game. That’s the good news.
The bad news is since their close win over the Dallas Cowboys in week 5, the Broncos have played progressively worse each week. They played down to the winless Jaguars, lost to the Colts and were losing 21-7 in the third quarter to the Redskins. Denver’s pass defense is the worst in the NFL allowing an average of 319.9 yards passing per game. Peyton Manning has thrown six interceptions in the past four games, including three Sunday against the Redskins. This is most likely due to the absence of left tackle Ryan Clady, who is out for the season, and injured right tackle Orlando Franklin, who is still playing but limping around the field.
Other key injuries affecting the Broncos are Champ Bailey, Julius Thomas, and Peyton Manning. Yes, Peyton Manning. Although he has two sprained ankles, Manning finished Sunday’s game against the Redskins with 354 yards passing and four touchdowns giving him his seventh 300-yard game this season and the sixth time he threw at least three touchdowns in a game. Champ Bailey is out again with a left foot injury after only playing one game so far this season. Julius Thomas left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. The Denver Broncos need this bye week to help heal all their injured players.
Denver has most of its division schedule in the second half of the season, having only played one AFC West game so far. Within that division schedule, the Broncos will play the currently undefeated Chiefs twice, the Chargers twice and the Raiders once. If the Broncos get healthy and Von Miller plays like he did last year (and stays out of trouble), this should be an exciting second half of the season in Broncos Country!
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