Paxton Lynch gets his second start against the Jacksonville Jaguars. How will he fair? Take a look at that game along with the other AFC West games.
Unfortunately, the Denver Broncos were unable to get a victory last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, which may ultimately cost them a playoff spot but it is too early to tell. Thank goodness the Broncos have another opportunity this week – one that will tell the NFL if this Bronco team is a legitimate contender or if they’re only pretenders. For my thoughts regarding the Broncos week thirteen matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as the other matchup featuring AFC West teams, please continue reading.
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars:
I never thought this game would be a rebound game for the Broncos, but due to the 30-27 OT loss last week, that is exactly what this game is. The Broncos must come out and totally dominate in all three phases of this game to be considered a team that can make a playoff run.
Unfortunately, they will have to do it without their starting quarterback, Trevor Siemian, who is out due to a foot injury sustained in the Kansas City game. Paxton Lynch will get his second start of the season. Lynch’s first start was in week five against the Atlanta Falcons. For the day Lynch completed 23 of 35 pass attempts for 223 yards and one touchdown pass. That was the positive aspect; the negative aspect was that Lynch had one interception, two fumbles that were recovered by the Broncos, and the worst part was that Lynch and the Broncos lost the game 23-16.
A Closer Look at Jacksonville
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The Jacksonville Jaguars, while sporting a very disappointing 2-9 record, do have the sixth ranked defense overall allowing 320.9 yards per game (ypg). Jacksonville allows 204.3 ypg passing, which is good enough to put them fourth in the league, while their rushing defense is much less solid allowing 116.6 ypg which ranks them 24th in the league.
Regardless of the Jacksonville defense and where it ranks, the Broncos must find a way to have a solid showing offensively, which will be extremely difficult considering the aforementioned quarterback situation, and the subpar play of the offensive line. I don’t want to say this, but a victory against the Jaguars may have to come at the hands of the defensive unit, which is another area of concern.
I have to admit I think I have been spoiled by the Broncos defense the last two seasons and when the Chiefs got the ball down eight points with three minutes to go and no timeouts last week, I thought the defense would easily secure the win. Boy, was I ever wrong.
Has the defense been lacking?
For whatever reason, it appears that some of the total domination the defense once had, has disappeared over the last two weeks. Be it execution, or lack of, by the Broncos, or teams just getting better at attacking this defense, the team has recently been unable to stop teams when they needed to the most. Am I overreacting? Possibly, but that is what happens when teams lose games they should have won; or had great opportunity to win.
Will the Broncos win tomorrow? I don’t know. On one hand, I expect them to go out and totally dominate from start to finish because of last weeks game; on the other hand, I have a very strange feeling that the Broncos 2016 season may continue to spiral downward because of last weeks game.
Again, I think my feelings are natural when your favorite team loses a game because they didn’t take advantage of the opportunities when they had them. When week thirteen comes to a close, I certainly hope the Broncos find themselves sitting at 8-4.
Prediction: Denver 28, Jacksonville 17