Last week starting quarterback Brock Osweiler l Last week starting quarterback Brock Osweiler l

Broncos 2015: AFC West Preview – Week Twelve


Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the NFL divisional playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last week starting quarterback Brock Osweiler led the Denver Broncos to a 17-15 victory over the Chicago Bears in his first NFL start.  If last week was Osweiler getting his feet wet during his first NFL start against the Chicago Bears, it is safe to say that this week Osweiler is diving head-first into the deep end as the Broncos welcome the undefeated New England Patriots to Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.  For more of my thoughts on this game as well as the other games featuring AFC West teams, please continue reading.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos: Due to Peyton Manning’s foot injury, Brock Osweiler will get his second NFL start in as many weeks.  I am sure all of Broncos Country would love to see Osweiler improve to 2-0; a feat that is possible but will be very difficult Sunday evening.  Let’s face it, the New England Patriots always present a challenge despite injuries they’re dealing with or offensive line issues – it is part of a typical NFL season.  For whatever reason – the Patriots (errr… Bill Belichick) find a way to overcome those obstacles.   

So, that is the opponent – what about the Broncos?  Analysts say that Osweiler is a good fit for the Gary Kubiak type of offense; he is able to pass on the run and with his skill and mobility, defenses must be on the lookout when he scrambles considering he can throw a good ball while going either direction.  Of course, none of this will be possible if the offensive line and running backs do not establish a running game – a must if the Broncos look to hand the Patriots their first loss of the season.  

While most people dwell on the Broncos offense and the “quarterback controversy” that has been evolving the last few weeks, if not the entire season, I think the biggest factor of tonight’s game will be the Broncos defense.  The Broncos defense will have to contain Tom Brady and make him uncomfortable throughout the evening by steady pressure and excellent downfield coverage.  

Two more factors in tonight’s game – the 75,000+ Bronco fans and good, old Mother Nature.  I have no doubt that members of Broncos Country in attendance tonight will be ready to support their Broncos and do their part in making Mr. Brady and the rest of the Patriots uncomfortable.  The forecast for tonight is in the low 20’s and snow is expected – awesome!

My prediction:  My heart would love to see the Broncos win huge but my head tells me that if the Broncos do win – it will be by a small margin, if they win at all.  I had these exact same thoughts when the Green Bay Packers came to Denver in week eight and the Broncos proved me wrong.  For today, I hope history repeats itself!

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs: Last week I was hoping the San Diego Chargers would shock the NFL and put a stop to Kansas City’s winning streak – boy was I ever disappointed as the Chiefs pounded the Chargers 33-3 to get their fourth win in a row, improving to 5-5 overall.  The Bills come to Arrowhead also with a 5-5 record and most recently lost to the New England Patriots 20-13 on Monday Night Football.  I am not expecting the Buffalo Bills to end the Chiefs winning streak; I actually think the Chiefs may win this game big similar to the Chargers game last week.  I know that Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking as Chief fans welcome back the Chiefs after two divisional wins on the road.  Boy, I hope I am wrong on this pick!

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans:  The Raiders were once sitting comfortably in second place in the AFC West but due to three straight losses by the Raiders and four straight wins by the Chiefs, the Raiders are now in third place, one game behind the Chiefs.  Hope is not lost for the Raiders as they face the Chiefs twice and the Broncos once so a lot can happen.  Prior to those games, the Raiders will have to take care of business when they travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans.  Based on records, the Raiders should win this game considering they are facing a Titans team that finds themselves at 2-8 and losers of their last two games.  My nephew, a die-hard Raiders fan, says that the Raiders should win and if they don’t he expects Jack Del Rio to be gone before you know it.  The Raiders have shown glimpses this season as a team turning the corner but it appears they aren’t quite there… yet.  Today’s game will be a tell-tale sign if the black-and-silver are really righting the ship in Oakland!  

San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars: I would have never of thought that Jacksonville would enter this game with two more wins than their opponent – the 2-8 San Diego Chargers.  The Jaguars enter this game having won their last two games and in third place in the AFC South with a 4-6 record.  The Chargers limp into this game at the bottom of the AFC West thanks to a horrendous six game losing streak!   While the Chargers still have six games remaining, at this point in the season, this game is a must win or they will be positioning themselves for the first draft pick in 2016.  The Chargers 2-8 record is the league’s worst record, shared by the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans, all AFC teams.  The weather in Jacksonville will not be a factor – 72 degrees and sunny; more like golf weather if you ask me considering the Chargers and Jaguars have a combined 6-14 record!  FORE!!

Go Broncos – beat New England!