After a four-game skid, the Denver Broncos have pulled out back-to-back victories. Fresh off a beatdown of the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, Denver looks to repeat its success again Sunday.
Denver outgained Dallas by 117 total yards. The Broncos utilized a strong running game and a ferocious pass rush to win the war in the trenches.
Each week MHS highlights individual matchups that must swing the Broncos way for this team to come out of the game with a victory.
This Sunday, the Broncos’ matchups are specific and call for young players to step and be dynamic. The Eagles boast one of the NFL’s most dangerous threats on offense and defense. For Denver to get to six wins before the bye week, it must have these two players win their matchups.
Quinn Meinerz has a tough test against All-Pro Fletcher Cox
The Broncos left guard, affectionately known as “The Belly”, earns a start for the injured veteran Graham Glasgow.
Meinerz performed well in relief against the Cowboys’ formidable defense. However, this week the former DIII star faces one of the game’s premier interior defensive linemen.
Former All-Pro Fletcher Cox remains a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. The veteran uses his tremendous strength and athleticism to create havoc for opposing offenses.
“[Cox is] a very powerful guy. He’s big, he’s tall, and when he gets a straight run at you, he’s hard to block one on one,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “He’s done it over and over and over.”
Meinerz is a physical specimen in his own right. The former Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawk has shown he can handle tough challenges during his brief rookie season.
In Week 3, Meinerz was forced into the lineup against stud defensive lineman Quinnen Williams.
Last week, Meinerz helped usher Javonte Williams downfield for one of the year’s most physical runs.
If Meinerz can continue his strong showing, the Broncos should be able to take advantage of less than stellar Eagles’ back seven.
Kenny Young must be everywhere to counter the legs of Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts is a phenomenal athlete in the quarterback position. The former Oklahoma and Alabama standout continues to learn and develop his passing skills. He has shown to be an adequate thrower as he becomes more comfortable with his offense.
However, his arm is not what should scare Vic Fangio and the Broncos’ defense. For Denver to be successful Sunday, it must contain Hurts ability to run.
The Eagles use an RPO-based offense to get Hurts to access to the edge. Once there, Hurts can exploit defenders with his tremendous feet and knack for picking up key first downs.
“This quarterback — Hurts — has done it in college, so he’s very experienced at it,” Fangio said about the Eagles dual-threat. “He probably does it as well as anybody in the league right now.”
His plus speed allows him to beat defenders for big chunks of yardage.
Enter No. 41 for the Broncos. Kenny Young has been with the Broncos for only two weeks. However, his presence has been evident both in his play and his energy.
Young’s ability to diagnose plays was in full effect last week versus the Cowboys, showing why he must be a long-term fixture of this defense for years to come.
The Broncos inside linebacker will find himself in space often against Hurts. Young expressed the key to stopping Hurts.
“I think it’s just a situation where if everybody just does their job and do their job description, I think it takes care of most of the problems,” Young said. “What problems fall out of that is just really just tackling, angles, and the issues that RPO could create.”
Young will likely key Hurts early and often and needs to tackle in space for Denver to limit the Eagles in this matchup.