Ian St. Clair of Mile High Report was nice enough to answer 5 questions about his Denver Broncos for us heading into Sunday’s game. You can check out my answers to Ian’s questions here.
1. Russell Wilson hasn’t been who the Broncos thought they were getting early on. What isn’t working so far?
The biggest issue for Wilson and the Broncos offense is Nathaniel Hackett and his system. The best comparison right now is oil and vinegar. No matter how hard you try to get the two to mesh, it won’t happen. There have been signs this could change, especially in the second half of the London game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But until it’s consistent, the offense is a huge question mark for Denver.
2. A lot has been made of the in-game mistakes Nathaniel Hackett has made. Has he gotten any better? Does it concern you long-term?
It doesn’t get much worse than Hackett’s first five games of the season. He was just abysmal with his clock and game management. But he has gotten better, though it’s by no means solved. The addition of Jerry Rosburg has helped Hackett. But if a situation arises on Sunday or the remainder of the season, the confidence level remains low that Hackett will make the right decision. As for the long-term, he may not be the coach at the end of the regular season so it may not matter.
3. Were you surprised when Bradley Chubb was traded? What led to that decision?
The most surprising aspect of the Chubb trade is that the Broncos were in a position where they had to make the deal. Coming into the season, most of Broncos Country thought the first half of the season would go a different way. Add in the fact that the first-round pick used to get Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks looks like it could be a top 10-15 pick, George Paton had to make this trade. So the first-round pick back makes it easier to digest. The other factor in play for this trade is Denver’s depth at edge rusher. Add it up and you get a great trade for the Broncos in a move that Paton needed to make.
4. Is the Broncos defense equipped to stop Derrick Henry?
In a word, no. The Denver defense is elite, but it struggles (to say the least) against the run. And the Broncos cannot tackle. Those two things add up to a massive problem for Denver on Sunday. In the game against the Jags, Travis Etienne Jr. finished with 156 yards rushing on 24 carries. That’s an average of 6.5 yards per rush. Now the Broncos face the best running back in the NFL. If Henry averages 6.5 yards per rush, he may have over 200 yards.
5. The Titans are a 2-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. Which side of that bet are you taking? Give us a game prediction.
When the line opened at -3.5 for the Titans, I would have bet the Broncos. Now that it’s dipped below 3, I’m on the Titans. The game will be a sloppy slugfest, but Tennesse will win by a field goal. The other betting aspect I’ll throw out is the under. The under is 7-1 in Denver games. Even though it’s down to 36.5, I still think the under is the play. All of that ties into my prediction of a Titans 17-14 win.