The Denver Broncos host the Houston Texans on Monday night in a game that seems just as personal as it is important. Both teams are 4-2 and this game could have home-field implications in the AFC Playoffs, but there is definitely more going on in this one due to the fact Brock Osweiler bolted Denver during the offseason for $37 million guaranteed in Houston.

John Elway and Brandon Marshall have been the most vocal leading up to this game. Elway has made comments hinting that the Broncos are better off not having Osweiler on their books. Marshall has been more to the point, stating that he wants to kill Denver’s ex-quarterback. Meanwhile, Osweiler chose to skip two major celebration events for the Broncos in going to the White House and participating in Denver’s ring ceremony.

It seems that the Broncos clearly had a plan moving forward with Osweiler and were rightfully a bit taken back that their future at quarterback bolted for more coin. The fact that Osweiler was absent for key celebration events probably has something to do with his inability to face the man he burned in Elway. In my opinion, the Broncos are better off without Osweiler. Sure, it made the offseason process much more stressful on Elway. However, it cannot be justified to pass out that type of cash for a player that has not proven himself at the position.

As for the game itself, I really expect Denver to get back on track. The return of Gary Kubiak and the extra practice time during the long week will really aid the Broncos. Denver should be able to pressure Osweiler. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris will shut down DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. If Houston is able to move the ball it will be with their tight ends and Lamar Miller. Wade Phillips has to come up with a plan to deal with Miller in space for Denver to be successful.

Offensively, the Broncos should have more success running the ball, and Trevor Siemian will be eager to prove that the Broncos are better off with him at the quarterback position. Denver knows all of Osweiler’s tendencies, and I expect Osweiler to have the worst game of his career coming into a very difficult environment.

This game is personal for the Broncos. Elway has most likely circled this one since the schedule was released. Kubiak wants to show Houston they made a mistake in firing him three years ago. Combine all of that with the blue jerseys, national television and three all-time greats going into the Ring of Fame, and the Broncos will be ready. Denver’s defense gets a long-awaited shutout in this one. The Broncos roll over Houston 23-0 and improve to 5-2.

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