Broncos/Bengals Preview

~by Bob Volpe ~

Once again fans in Denver were disappointed with a drubbing on
national TV. The Patriots embarrassed the Broncos last week in Denver
41-16.
It’s time for Bronco country to face the reality that the Broncos are
just not a good team this year. Poor execution, lack of discipline,
turnovers, penalties, and yes poor coaching doomed this season.
The Broncos have not been able to address the weaknesses they suffered
since the upset by the Giants. They are making the same mistakes game
after game way too consistently to win.
The good news? Brock played a little better and the schedule gets a
little easier from here on out. That’s about it.
Next week the Broncos host the 3-6 Cincinnati Bengals at Denver. It’s
an afternoon game so the whole country doesn’t have to watch two 3-6
teams vying for next years draft position.
The Bengals are coming off a 2 game losing streak. Their main weapons
are a veteran quarterback, Andy Dalton, and their perennial pro bowl
receiver AJ Green. Last week in their loss to the Titans, Dalton and
Green combined for 115 yards on five pass plays and 1 TD.
The Bengals have no doubt been watching the same film every other team
has on the Bronco’s defense. Last week we saw the Pats exploit the
Broncos with short crossing patterns over the middle with their tight
ends and running backs. They accounted for 193 yards of Brady’s 266
total yards passing.
Look for the Bengals to continue to try and use the same game plan.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon is just the right guy to fill this
roll. In the Bengal’s close win over the Colts, Mixon had 3 receptions
for 91 yards. Tight end Tyler Kroft had 4 receptions for 46 yards
against the Colts but only one catch for 4 yards against the Titans in
that loss.
Mixon also contributed in the running game against the Titans as did
teammate Giovani Bernard. Last week Mixon ran for 37 yards on 9
carries and one TD while Bernard had only 2 carries for 10 yards.
This week’s game could be the beginning of a Bronco comeback, but if
they continue with the turnovers it could be another ugly game. If the
Broncos can run the table they’ll finish 10-6 and that may get them in
the playoff as a wild card. Long odds. Even if they managed to make it
to the playoffs, unless they can seriously patch up the holes in the
defensive passing game and stop the mistakes in all three phases of
the game, they haven’t shown they are a good enough team to beat a
good opponent.
The official TMJ/Russ’ Place pick: Broncos beat the Bengals by virtue
of home field advantage only. 21-17