Broncos - Patriots: Preview

The struggle of navigating through the Covid-19 minefield continues for the NFL, who have once again been presented with a host of challenges following a number of positive test results at the conclusion of the week five fixtures. 

One such consequence is that the Denver Broncos week five match-up with the New England Patriots, which was previously scheduled for 1pm ET (6pm UK/IRE) on Sunday has now been moved to Sunday of week six. 

Only two Broncos games have been played on a Sunday up until now, with them already having played on both Monday & Thursday Night Football. Factoring in the injuries and the now hectic schedule, it’s fair to assume the apple cart is, upset. The imbalance and uncertainty of when games are going to be played is a massive hindrance to the preparation and logistics of a game. 

If you can, set all the extra-curricular happenings to one side for a moment and let’s focus on the game.  Sometimes, when discussing the schedule people often use the phrase “It’s not who you play, it’s when you play them” and this couldn’t have been truer a week ago for the Broncos. I think it’s a fair assessment to say, if both teams were at full strength this would be an uphill struggle for the Broncos. 

Drew Lock, who was side lined after the Week two fixture against the Steelers with a shoulder injury, has slowly worked his way back to full fitness and it’s believed that he will resume his starting responsibilities this Sunday.

With the offense back under the direction of Lock, there will likely be less of a reliance on the run game. So it will then come as a welcomed boost that Phillip Lindsay looks set to return from his turf toe injury suffered in Week one against the Titans at the same time his team mate Melvin Gordon gets side lined with injury.

This is a great opportunity for the Broncos to go on the road and pick up a win at a time where they would otherwise be expected to struggle. After an unexpected bye, and an extra week of preparation for the Patriots, would feel like stealing a game. There’s a long way to go yet in this season but a 2-3 hole is a lot easier to dig out of than a 1-4 hole. A string of good fortune could see the Broncos sitting at 3-3 when they welcome the Chiefs to Mile High in just over two weeks’ time.