For better or for worse, the Broncos return to action with a Week 8 matchup against the Colts. It’s a cloudy week here in Denver. With the trade of Emmanuel Sanders, it seems like this year’s campaign is officially over. Making the playoffs is out of the question, and the team has nothing to play for but pride.
Theoretically, that should be all they need, but the team seems down. Still, we have work to do. We will discuss the keys to offense and defense for victory. Then, we will look at the players to look out for from the Colts. Last, we give the prediction. So, let’s get it!
Keys to Victory for Offense
With Emmanuel Sanders now gone, it’s now time for Courtland Sutton to rise. With all the holes in this Broncos roster, the team cannot afford to spend a high draft pick on a receiver. So, on Sunday, Sutton has to continue to prove that he can be the man. So far this season, Courtland ranks 8th in receiving yards, 18th in yards per catch, and 17th in targets.
All of those numbers should increase. Usually, I would say that the focus is on the running game. In Week 8, their effort has to be to get Sutton the ball. The Broncos have to know if he is their man or not. I think that Courtland can be a number one receiver, but now is his prime opportunity to prove it. Let’s see what he can do when he has no one to fall on.
Keys to Victory for Defense
So far this season, the defense has been pretty good. What am I saying? It’s been more than pretty good. It’s been great. In Week 8, the Denver defense will need to continue to excel. In particular, the defense will need to kill the running game of the Colts. Thus far, the Broncos allow a little over 107 rushing yards per game. Conversely, the Colts average about 129 rushing yards per game, which is good for 10th in the NFL. Passing the ball, Indy is in the bottom half of the league. So, stopping the run will be essential for the defense.
Players to Look Out For
Marlon Mack is what drives the Indianapolis Colts. As the keys to victory of the defense allude, the Broncos cannot allow Marlon Mack to run them over. Mack is one of those players that can wear on a team. The more carries Marlon gets, the better he gets as the game progresses. So, it’s two sides of a coin for the Broncos. Firstly, the Broncos have to neutralize Mack. Lastly, the Broncos have to get an early lead.
If the Broncos do not get an early lead, then that opens the door for more carries for Mr. Mack. As stated above, you cannot allow Mack to get more carries. Not only does he wear on you, but it will enable the Colts to play-action pass with Brissett. Not that Jacoby is an awful quarterback, but you want him to beat you instead of Marlon Mack.
I don’t see a win for the Broncos this week. They’re coming off a miserable performance in primetime to the Chiefs. Also, I don’t know how the team is not feeling down after losing Sanders. I think they will be competitive, but their hearts will not be in it. I’ll take the Colts 24-10. I hope I’m wrong.