No in-game or post-game reporting for me today. Missouri’s St. Louis Rams will be hogging the Fox airwaves at 3:00 ET so I have to watch from a bar.
Seattle’s offense shouldn’t scare anyone yet. They capitalized on 49ers turnovers last week to pull out an impressive win. If the Broncos do two things right, they should leave Invesco Field at Mile High equalized at .500 .
RUN THE BALL—CENTURY MARK
Although Denver picked up Lawrence Maroney from New England, his thigh injury will keep him in sweats this week.
Knowshon Moreno had a solid game last week, but if you watch the kid, he always seems to have the same problem. Once he hits the open field, he rarely breaks out for a huge run. He has yet to top 100 yards in a single game in his young career—with his running style, he needs at least one dash down the sidelines for pay dirt or damn near it to get into triple digit yardage.
Under Mike Shanahan, wide receivers blocked downfield extremely well. Although Denver does not have the overpowering muscle of a Brandon Marshall hunk of meat to displace defenders, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal must man up to open spaces down the field when the ball’s on the ground.
Denver’s O-Line will have to play without Ryan Harris again this week. If they can open up any holes at all, Moreno and Buckhalter will need help downfield. Right guard Chris Kuper was not listed on the injury report and should play.
The Seattle defense held San Francisco’s RB Frank Gore to 38 yards on 17 carries last week, and Gore can play. One Denver back of another must top that production if we want to avoid San Francisco’s fate.
If Moreno—or Buckhalter—accumulates over 100 rushing yards, Denver wins this game.
SPECIAL TEAMS—SHOW UP?
Denver’s special teams gave up big yardage to a guy who was filling in for another more talented guy last week at Jacksonville.
In rarified Denver air, without the excuse of humidity and absurd temperatures, the special teamers must keep returners Golden Tate and Justin Forsett in check. A return touchdown from Perrish Cox is not a necessity, but it would certainly provide a spark that the unit clearly lacks.
Kicker Matt Prater made the team two years ago because of his power. At home, keep that ball in the endzone. I’ll be interested to see if Seattle’s gives their returners the leeway to take it out from several yards deep the way Tiquan Underwood did last week to great success. If they burn Denver on would-be touchbacks, Keith Burns might want to suit up and reenergize the unit. Can anyone remember when special teams did something in Denver?
If Kyle Orton stays smart—his one pick last week came late in the game when he had to make something happen—and the defense can engineer a turnover and a sack or two, the Broncos should be alright.
Let’s see what happens.