The Broncos head to The Steel City as they look to reverse their fortunes from their week one loss at home to Tennessee
A disappointing start to the season left many Broncos fans despondent, frustrated and worried for what the season ahead might hold. On the contrary, there were many fans who were able to weed out the negatives and look solely on the positives – which there were plenty of. The firestorm of emotions swirled through the cauldron of twitter as if the world were ending, panic and dismay, hopefulness and encouragement shaken together in what is the perfect cocktail of Broncos fandom.
With the week one game behind us, it is time now to focus ahead to Sunday as the Broncos travel to the City of Bridges to take on Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The famed Steel Curtain looked to rear its old head on Monday Night as the Steelers put in a dominating performance against the New York Giants recording 3 sacks, 2 interceptions and a heap of pressure in the face of Daniel Jones all game long.
The Denver Broncos will no doubt have their hands full this week, coming up against that elite pass rush and run stopping defense, who limited Saquon Barkley to just 6 total rushing yards. The problem that faces Denver, is that their two headed running attack has been reduced to a one back attack after just one game. Phillip Lindsay is expected to miss a few weeks with turf toe after he left the opener early on Monday night leaving Melvin Gordon as the sole back for the Broncos to use. It may also mean an uptake in carries for Royce Freeman, but it’s unlikely that he will fulfil the role that Lindsay had and he certainly won’t see the same volume of touches.
The offensive line will definitely be having a busy night and keeping the pocket clean for Drew Lock is crucial if the Broncos want to have any kind of success at the weekend. Lock impressed in flashes on Monday night but was admittedly off with a couple of deep balls – one of which was a certain touchdown had he of connected with DaeSean Hamilton in the end zone. Those are the kind of plays that Lock will need to hit on to keep up with the pace of a Steelers team that has proved it can score points and capitalise on mistakes.
Alongside Lock, Rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy will be seeking to improve on his week one performance. Although not disastrous, two crucial drops which changed the course of the game will be what Jeudy’s debut will be remembered for other than anything else. With 4 catches for 56 yards, everyone knows that Jeudy is capable of much more and despite the disappointing start he is still set to be one of the best offensive rookies to debut in the NFL this season.
Noah Fant showed flashes of his ability to play as a top level Tight End and will continue to be Lock’s favourite target in the absence of Courtland Sutton who remains side lined with a shoulder injury and is questionable for the week two match up. Regardless if Sutton plays or not, I suspect Fant will still be a major factor in this offence.
Bronco’s fans will not need reminding of the clock management that so clearly cost them an opportunity at having a proper game winning drive. Time outs and game management will be crucial, sorry – is so important in every game – and the coaching staff must ensure that their errors are not repeated to keep the team in with any chance of winning.
There is the very real danger that the Broncos could fall to 0-2 to start the season with their next game being against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A huge game awaits the team and fans this weekend. Fans of the team from this side of the Atlantic will feel like they’re being spoiled with the kick off being 6pm on Sunday evening and not the ridiculous 03:20am start that was dealt their way in week one. Nevertheless, the unwavering support remains the same and the understanding of the size of the task ahead of their Broncos this weekend is as clear as day.
Stay tuned to Colorado Europe and Broncos Europe for further articles regarding the team, games and much more as the season progresses. Game reviews, previews and deep dives all season long.