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Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos
Monday, October 24, 2016
How much difference does a head coach make? Turns out, Bronco fans hope it makes a big difference. Out of sync and out of answers (until it was too late) against the Chargers last Thursday night, the Broncos come of their second “mini bye week” of the season facing a little adversity. Two loses in a row is the kind of streak the Broncos haven’t faced very frequently in recent years. Will Gary Kubiak’s return to the sidelines this week make the difference? The team certainly hopes so. A quicker start on both sides of the ball would help. After struggling to move the football and likewise struggling to keep the Chargers from moving it last week, the team has to be sharper out of the gate if they want to beat the Texans Monday night.
KEY MATCH UP
The key match up this week is CJ Anderson vs. Devontae Booker. Though Anderson has shown some flashes (especially on the TD run that was called back on a hold in the fourth quarter Thursday night), Booker’s flashes have been impressive as well. The running game must get going to support Trevor Siemian.
Certainly, the offense line has not helped the run game in recent weeks.Perhaps that is the problem. Perhaps not.What Bronco fans know is that Gary Kubiak will not hesitate to go to another player if things aren’t working.
Is this the week he goes to Booker?
The best match up may be Booker vs. Anderson. It may be the most interesting match up of the week.
Things haven’t gone great for Brock Osweiler since he left Denver for Houston. Sure, he scored a BIG payday and, yes, he led his team back against the Colts last week in somewhat improbable fashion. However, lost in the comeback are the calls for his potential benching and the speculation after 3 quarters of that game that Osweiler had started his last game for the Texans for the foreseeable future.
I think the Broncos remember that Osweiler suggested, when he signed with the Texans, that the Texans gave him a better chance to win than did the Broncos. I know Bronco fans remember that comment. I suspect, despite the recent loses by the Broncos, the environment will be hostile, the defense will be ready to roll and Osweiler will turn the ball over. Twice.
Two loses and it feels like the sky is falling for the Broncos. That’s good. Perhaps a little mid-season adversity is what the team needs. This is not the 2015 version of the Broncos. That team seemed to be able to overcome all manner of issues created by a lackluster offense. This year’s version needs the offense to perform better.
Don’t kid yourself, after a rocky first phase of the game, the defense settled in and gave the offense chance after chance to win in San Diego. A couple fourth quarter turnovers cost them the chance, but the offense must pull its weight. It must move the ball and score.
It must do better.
Monday night, it will. It will do marginally better. It will do enough to win.