This week’s matchup with the Carolina Panthers might be the last time all season that the Denver Broncos are favored to win a game.

With that in mind, the Broncos absolutely have to build on this opportunity, to ensure the rest of the season isn’t a complete slog.

How can they do that? Let’s take a look.

Protect the interior of the line

As shaky as the play has been from the Denver Broncos’ offensive tackles, one could easily argue the team’s greatest problem on the offensive line was their poor interior.

The center position has been a disaster, for the most part, while Dalton Risner continues to be a sizable disappointment since his promising rookie campaign, and opposing defenses have had no problem exploiting those shortcomings.

Now, having Graham Glasgow replace Lloyd Cushenberry III in the starting lineup, at center, has cleaned up some of those problems, but Risner continues to be one of the worst pass-blocking guards in football. He currently ranks 10th in pressures allowed by a guard, and in terms of pressure rate allowed.

This week, the Denver Broncos will face their toughest test on the interior since inserting Glasgow as a starter. After a slow start to his career, Derrick Brown is looking like a potential All-Pro this season at defensive tackle and has the potential to singlehandedly wreck this game for the Denver Broncos, if the interior of Denver’s line can’t rein him in.

Stifle D’Onta Foreman

Most football fans outside of the Carolinas, including those residing in Broncos Country, probably wrote off the Panthers’ rushing attack the moment they traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers.

However, counterintuitively, their run game actually hasn’t suffered much since the deal.

The Panthers still have a top-10 rushing attack according to EPA/play, and, over the four games since trading the superstar back, they’ve accumulated more than 170 yards on the ground twice.

Considering what we all just saw the Denver Broncos defense do against Josh Jacobs, and Travis Etienne just two games before that, Carolina’s rushing success should worry Broncos Country.

That said, if Denver can stop the ground attack, they should cruise to victory.

Harass Sam Darnold

Although he hasn’t started a single game for the Carolina Panthers this season, Sam Darnold could easily be the best quarterback on their roster.

Now, that is entirely a product of Baker Mayfield and P.J. Walker taking turns looking like one of the league’s worst starting quarterbacks, but nonetheless, Darnold could be an upgrade.

He’s never been able to find much consistency in his play, since entering the NFL, but throughout his relatively disappointing career, he’s always had the ability to make the ‘wow’ plays.

Darnold has the ability to make one or two plays that are so ridiculous, they’re practically indefensible. With that said, that makes up a small portion of his play.

Darnold’s chaotic style tends to hurt more than help, and the Broncos should attempt to prey on that chaos.

Although their pass rush has taken a step back since trading Bradley Chubb and losing Randy Gregory to injury, it’s still plenty capable of making Darnold ‘see ghosts’ on Sunday.

Compounding that fact are all the creative pressure packages that defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero has devised this year, and the sticky coverage the Denver Broncos’ secondary players can provide.

Denver’s defense, despite being stingy, has struggled to create takeaways. That has to change this week.