11:59 AM ET 09.23 |
the broncos face their first playoff caliber team in 2007 when the jacksonville jaguars visit invesco field on sunday.
my keys for sunday's game:
1) the broncos must stop the run. the jaguars priority will be to get the running game established, and in fred taylor and maurice jones-drew, they have the backs to do it.
the broncos need to put this game in david garrard's hands.
2) the broncos must run the ball. jacksonville is a very physical team and tough against the run. i'm still having flashbacks of quentin griffin fumbling before the broncos can kick the game winner in jacksonville several years ago.
the jaguars formidable defensive line is about as banged up as it can get. tackle john henderson is out (concussion- too many slaps to the face?). tackle marcus stroud (ankle) and ends paul **** (back) and ex-bronco reggie hayward (achilles' tendon) are playing through injuries.
that being said, i would not be surprised to see mike shanahan script the first 15 plays heavily with passes to open up the running game later.
3) the broncos need to finish drives. the "#1" offense in football needs to score more points.
4) special teams must improve. kick return coverage problems continue to plague the team. jason elam is still missing way too many of his field goal attempts. maybe jake plummer will come out of retirement to be his holder; you don't have to prep too hard during the week for that.
the broncos need to win this game. they are at indianapolis next week and host the chargers the week after. they get a bye and then they host the steelers. ouch!
prediction: broncos 24, jaguars 17.