Denver Broncos Turn To Paxton Lynch To Keep Postseason Hopes Alive
The 7-4 Denver Broncos face the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, turning to QB Paxton Lynch to save the season.
Last season, the Broncos saved their season when Peyton Manning returned to the lineup in Week 17. As you know, this helped the Broncos move on to win the Super Bowl.
These are different circumstances as QB Trevor Siemian had a career-high 368 yards and 3 TD’s against Kansas City before a sprained foot injury.
This has caused the Broncos to rule Siemian out for Sunday, giving Lynch the pressure-packed start at Jacksonville.
In his first start, Week 5 against Atlanta, Lynch was 23-35, 223 yards, TD/INT, but was not up to speed. The Broncos lost this game 23-16 with Lynch looking overwhelmed.
However, in Lynch’s first action, the previous week against Tampa Bay, he was 14-24, 170 yards and a TD, filling in for an injured Siemian.
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The Broncos won that game 27-7 so perhaps with the team returning to Florida, Lynch can excel again. Crazier things have happened.
Despite the Jaguars being 2-9 on the season, it’s unlikely the Broncos will overlook them because of last week’s loss.
The way the Broncos fell to Kansas City in the 30-27 game, on a lucky doink from kicker Cairo Santos, should galvanize a proud Denver squad.
From the film I’ve seen of Jacksonville on Game Pass (thanks Sayre :), the talent is there.
However, despite strong tailback Chris Ivory (467 scrimmage yards, 2 rush TD’s this season) QB Blake Bortles has not improved.
Bortles is -1.3 in his TD percentage from last season so despite immense talent around him, that in part explains the Jaguars’ struggles.
How can the Broncos win?
To win, the Broncos need to take care of business early. Much as was the case in New Orleans in Week 10, it would be a good idea to score first.
For some reason, taking an early lead has a magical effect and makes the team play generally well from wire-to-wire.
For all intents and purposes, the Broncos’ postseason has started now as any loss in the next 5 games would severely hurt their postseason chances.
Winning the turnover battle never hurts either and the Broncos absolutely should. The Jaguars are -15 in the turnover ratio, dead last in the NFL.
Also, the Broncos, miffed with Jordan Norwood’s gaffes on punt returns, have promoted returner Kalif Raymond from the practice squad.
The versatile Raymond can be a kick and punt returner and perhaps an effective slot receiver as well.
Raymond really impressed in preseason and perhaps, after Sunday, everybody in Broncos Country will love Raymond. Time will tell.
Game-time temperatures are expected to be in the 70’s, per Jacksonville’s First Coast News, along with calm winds. Here’s more information from my new Twitter friend, Jacksonville meteorologist Rebecca Barry at WJXT-TV Channel 4 in Jacksonville.
As always, this is your game thread, so use it wisely. If any Jaguars fans happen upon us, treat them nicely. GO BRONCOS!!!