3 Denver Broncos players key to beating the Detroit Lions in Week 14

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos, Noah Fant
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (87) pulls in a reception past Las Vegas Raiders inside linebacker Cory Littleton (42) in the first half at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos have a chance to get back on track after a tough loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with the Detroit Lions coming to town in Week 14.

The Denver Broncos’ Week 14 matchup against the Detroit Lions is going to be just about as emotionally charged of a regular season game as you’re ever going to see.

The sudden and tragic loss of team legend Demaryius Thomas at the age of 33 has sent shockwaves through the NFL world and certainly in Broncos Country. You can bet that fans will show out in their no. 88 jerseys at the stadium and the team will be playing to honor a man who meant so much to so many of them, whether they had the privilege to be his teammate or not.

The team will honor Thomas in a variety of ways on Sunday, including wearing an awesome decal on the back of their helmets and having a video tribute, and they can also honor him by doing what he did a lot of in his time with the Broncos — winning.

Denver Broncos key players in Week 14 matchup vs. Lions

Which players will need to really show out in this game in order for the Denver Broncos to get a win and improve to 7-6? Let’s take a look.

1. Noah Fant, tight end

The Denver Broncos’ starting tight end has been the subject of a lot of misdirected blame this season from fans.

Yes, Fant deserves some criticism for penalties. Yes, he deserves some scathing reviews for his pass protection skills, even though I would contend that he shouldn’t be asked to do that hardly ever.

As a quick side note, does anyone know how good Travis Kelce and Darren Waller are in pass pro?

While there are reasons you could justifiably critique Fant this season, one area of his game that has been misused by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is his ability to catch the ball and create yardage after the catch.

You know, the stuff he’s awesome at.

Fant is getting no favors from the people in charge of making sure he gets the football, which has been extremely disappointing to see. He has already matched his previous season-high of three touchdown catches, yet he doesn’t have one since the second month of the season.

While we all want to see the Denver Broncos dominate this game on the ground with Javonte Williams (more on that in a bit), this is the perfect “get right” game for tight end Noah Fant and the Broncos should make it a priority to feed him the ball in space.