Week 1 ended up being a huge letdown for the Denver Broncos. It was the beginning of the Sean Payton era in Denver, but ended with a thud.
After beginning the season 0-1 with a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Broncos now try to bounce back in Week 2 against the 1-0 Washington Commanders. Starting the year off 0-2 would be quite the hole to climb out of, especially in a division featuring Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.
As the Broncos prepare for Washington, there are three players, specifically, who cannot afford to have a bad game this weekend.
1. Damarri Mathis, CB
Maybe the worst player on the field last week for the Denver Broncos was cornerback Damarri Mathis. He was responsible for giving up both passing touchdowns by Jimmy Garopollo. In fact, Mathis allowed eight receptions on nine targets that game, good for a completion percentage of 88.9.
Mathis also missed a tackle and ended up allowing Garoppolo a passer rating of 150.2. He couldn't have played much worse than he did, and the Broncos absolutely have to get a better performance out of him against Washington.
Sam Howell may not be an All Pro quarterback, but he has a couple of top-notch weapons in wide receivers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson. These are two guys who have the ability to make big plays on any given down. If Mathis allows the type of performance he did in Week 1, then Washington is going to put up a fair amount of points.