Denver Broncos 5 keys to victory vs Washington Commanders

How can the Denver Broncos win their positional matchups and avoid falling to 0-2 against the Washington Commanders?

Denver Broncos
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2. Close run gaps quickly, contain QB Sam Howell in pocket

Washington Commanders QB Sam Howell has said on podcasts that he respects the game of Broncos QB Russell Wilson and has looked up to the legendary QB for a long time. How does that affect his game? Howell has always been innovative with his legs to be able to extend plays when needed to do so, even dating back to his college days at North Carolina. In their season opener, Howell scored a rushing touchdown and was able to evade the pocket and make plays when the play broke down.

Denver has seemingly done well in the past with former defensive play-callers Vic Fangio and Ejiro Evero scheming against mobile quarterbacks however, Vance Joseph will now be put to the test. While Howell is not a serious threat as a runner, he will exploit any run gaps that are left open by the Broncos' defensive line and extend drives as a result. Howell was also one of the worst quarterbacks in the entire NFL during Week 1 under pressure and had a 0% big play percentage. If the Broncos can contain Howell in the pocket and rattle the young signal caller, they will have a much better shot at winning this football game.

3. Make WR Jerry Jeudy focal point of offense

With Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy returning from his hamstring injury suffered late in the preseason, Denver now has its best receiving weapon back in action and head coach Sean Payton is thrilled on the inside with the idea of having No. 10 back out on the gridiron. Based on the lack of explosive plays in their season opener, the Broncos greatly missed their star receiver and his return will provide an instant boost to Denver's movement of the ball.

While Commanders veteran corner Kendall Fuller may see some downs lined up against Jeudy, rookie first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes Jr. will likely be the ideal matchup schematically for Washington with the best chance at shutting down the fourth-year receiver simply due to Forbes' route recognition. Especially considering Forbes' slim frame, it would not make much sense, matchup-wise, to have him covering 6 foot 4 Courtland Sutton. However, even with Washington having a better chance of stopping Jeudy with their new rookie corner, the premier route runner will be too difficult of a test for Forbes in his second career start.