Welcome back to the Mile High Review! Last week, the Broncos suffered a humiliating loss to a team they had no business losing to. This week, it’s week two and things are a little different. They face a hungrier, more talented Bears team. In week two, the Bears offer different challenges than the Raiders did. So, as we will every week, we will discuss the keys for the game on offense, the keys on defense, who to look out for on the Bears, and give the prediction. Let’s get it!
Offensive Keys to Victory
First and foremost, the Broncos MUST get Phillip Lindsay going in this game. In their week one loss, the Bears only gave up 213 yards. The Chicago defense is tough but the Broncos have to figure it out. That starts and ends with Lindsay. 15 touches for Lindsay will not cut it. He needs 20-25 touches minimum, which is a load I think he can handle. Denver needs to get him out on the edges to utilize his speed. Additionally, they need to get him going in the passing game. Create mismatches that work to his advantage. Phillip Lindsay needs to show up and show out on Sunday.
Secondly, the offensive line has to do better and that comes with help from the coaches. If the Broncos can get the running game going in week two, play-action passes are your friend. Flacco is effective in the bootleg. This not only allows Joe more time to throw, but it helps the offensive line in their protection. Denver cannot have the same performance on offense in week two that they did in week two. Flacco needs better protection. Since the offensive line is lacking, the coaches have to scheme better to help them.
Defensive Keys to Victory
In week two, Fangio and Donatell absolutely must get this front seven some hits on Mitch Trubisky. Zero sacks and zero hits on the quarterback will not cut it in week two. While Chicago does have some talented backs, the Broncos would rather the game be out of Mitch’s hands. They have to make the running backs earn their respect and attack Trubisky. Like the coach says in Remember the Titans, they should blitz all night! Miller and Chubb should have an apartment in the Bears backfield with their feet up on the couches by halftime.
If Miller and Chubb are wreaking havoc, the natural side effect should be turnovers. Last week, the Broncos had zero turnovers. In week two, they need at least two turnovers. Right now, the offense does not have much confidence. So, what do you do to give the offense confidence? You give them short fields. Much like 2015, the offense needs to feed off the defensive. When the defense gets its groove back, so will the offense.
Players to Lookout For
Above all, the biggest nightmare for the Broncos in week two will be Tarik Cohen. He is fast. Tarik is elusive. He can run routes. Chris Harris and the defensive backs can handle Robinson, Patterson, and Gabriel. The means the linebackers have to handle Cohen, which is a tall task for anyone. If a defensive back is forced to mark Cohen, then the receivers will burn them. Denver has to put the clamps on Cohen Sunday.
Also, the Bears have this player named Khalil Mack. Ever hear of him? Mile High City knows him well. Too well. Mack is a problem. Going back to the offensive keys of the game, Mack has to be contained. You cannot stop him, but you can contain Mack. If he has another five sack game, the Broncos will lose in week two. Double team Mack if you have to. Hell, triple-team him if you have to. DO NOT LET HIM RUN FREE!
This is a game the Broncos can win. They have the home-field advantage. It’s not a myth about the air being thin at a mile high. It’s a fact. Still, in week two everything tells me the Broncos will lose this game. So, what do I do? I will pick them to win 24-21. They will find a way because they simply cannot afford to be 0-2.
Be sure to check in next week for the recap. Hopefully, it will be more cheerful than the last, but don’t quote me on that.