We’re going beyond just getting off the bus on this one. Here are our five keys for a Denver Broncos (5-0) victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5).
1. Unleash Knowshon Moreno
The Jaguars are giving up more rushing yards per game (160.6) than anyone else. If the Broncos can build a two plus touchdown lead early, they can keep the ball on the ground, run the clock, and keep Maurice Jones-Drew’s carries down. Moreno is averaging 5.1 yards per carry (3rd best in the league), so give him more touches and give Peyton Manning’s arm a bit of a break.
2. Utilize the short game
This goes back to giving Manning’s arm a break. If the Broncos can use screen passes, the Jaguars are averaging about one missed tackle every seven snaps. They’ll still get their yards, but they’ll do it without taking as many risks.
3. Don’t underestimate the spread
The Jags haven’t won a game and they’re on the road playing the best team in the NFL. They’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. That’s what makes them dangerous. A freak injury coupled Broncos’ turnovers and the Jags’ best performance of the century could make this one a game. As they say, any given Sunday. The Broncos can’t take this one lightly.
4. Contain Maurice Jones-Drew
The small and elusive back has 64 career touchdowns, and now that Justin Blackmon is back, the pressure is taken off of him a bit. Jones-Drew had his best performance of the season last week against the Rams, which was the first week that Blackmon was back after his four-game suspension. Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton (former teammate of Jones-Drew) have to continue to pull their weight and control the line.
5. Win early
This key doesn’t pertain to this week’s win as much as it does victories in the future. If the Broncos can get a four score lead by halftime, they can rest their starters and get the backups some valuable regular season experience. If business is taken care of early, this could be viewed as half a bye week and really be beneficial come week 13 or 14 when bodies are really feeling the brunt of the physical season.