The Denver Broncos just went 3-1 through their toughest stretch of the season, can they continue the winning ways this weekend when the Tennessee Titans come to town?
It seems likely.
While Tennessee is fighting for a playoff spot at 5-7, Denver is the AFC’s No. 1 seed at 10-2, rolling over most opponents with their incredibly high-powered offense. Could we see another Broncos’ blowout this weekend? You bet.
Will we? We’ll see.
Chris Johnson versus Denver’s run defense. With Jake Locker injured and Ryan Fitzpatrick starting, the Titans will have to rely more on their running game and Johnson. He’s struggled a bit this season, with 774 yards and four touchdowns, as teams have loaded the box against him. The Broncos, without Kevin Vickerson or Derek Wolfe, will likely put seven or eight in the box, daring Fitzpatrick to throw. If Denver shuts down Johnson, the Titans’ offense will go into panic mode.
The Broncos Win If…
They handle business. They don’t need a crazy great performance from Peyton Manning to beat Tennessee, but the team does need their veteran quarterback to protect the ball, much like last week. A semblance of balance on offense will help them put up lots of points, and special teams can’t afford to turn the ball over, either.
The Broncos Lose If…
They turn the ball over too many times. It’s simple; protect the ball, win the game. It is so often the case, and this week, it seems the only way the Titans can win is if they take advantage of multiple turnovers.
Denver’s defense could have a big day. The Titans are averaging a paltry 22 points per game, with Fitzpatrick throwing seven interceptions in as many games played. If the secondary, which has picked off 14 passes, is on its game, they’ll intercept Fitzpatrick and keep Tennessee out of the end zone for much of the contest.
What’s At Stake
For Denver, a win means the certainty of owning the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The Broncos can’t afford a loss coupled with a New England win, because the Patriots have the head-to-head tie-breaker and would move into first. Plus, it’s an opportunity to start a new winning streak (two games).
Line: Broncos (-12)
Money line: Broncos (-600), Titans (+450)