The Broncos road loss to the Chiefs last week officially bumped the team from playoff contention.

They will now look to get back on track with a home game against the Detroit Lions, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games and are down to their third-string quarterback, the undrafted rookie David Blough.

Here’s how our panel of experts think the game will go:

What is the key to this game?

Rich Kurtzman (@RichKurtzman): The Broncos need to start fast and assert their will on offense immediately. If they can get a lead, Denver needs to put their foot down and never give Detroit a chance.

Aniello Piro (@MediaByAP): The key to this game is taking advantage of a weak Detroit defense. The Lions have struggled big time against the pass, so the Broncos should be prepared to keep the pressure on them.

Alex Becker (@A_beck9): Not letting the Lions rookie quarterback David Blough pick the defense apart. With Blough’s play declining the last three games, Denver must bring pressure with guys like Shelby Harris and Von Miller. If Blough is able to connect with his targets, such as touchdown machine Kenny Golladay, we could be in for a shootout.

Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars): The key to this game will be airing the ball out. The Lions pass defense is among the five worst in every statistical category, analytical or otherwise, from their pass rush to their coverage and everything in between. Hopefully, Rich Scangarello doesn’t get too cute or conservative with his play-calling.

What should the Broncos expect from Drew Lock?

Rich Kurtzman: Denver has to be wary that Drew Lock could have a second-straight down game. Scangarello needs to call a much more balanced offense and help Lock by letting him utilize his mobility to get out of trouble.

Aniello Piro: I think the Broncos should expect a big bounce back from Lock after last week. He was sharp in his first two games and will look to get back to his gunslinger mentality this week against a weak Detroit team. Lock will light things up come Sunday.

Alex Becker: The Broncos should expect Lock to return to form. After playing in heavy snow last Sunday in KC, Lock will play in ideal conditions this Sunday in Denver. Furthermore, he will be facing one of the worst defenses in the league and a team that has lost seven straight games.

Zach Segars: The Broncos shouldn’t expect Lock to be anything more than a rookie. All young quarterbacks are a bit of an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. That being said, everything is set up for Lock to torch the Lions.

Which Bronco gets the game ball?

Rich Kurtzman: Phillip Lindsay. He called out the offense for only rushing 13 times last week, so don’t be surprised if Denver runs the ball a lot more in this game. It would be awesome to see Lindsay hit the 1,000-yard mark for the season in this game.

Aniello Piro: Phillip Lindsay will get the game ball. The young back is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing for the season, and there is no doubt he is pushing hard to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. He probably won’t get there Sunday, but he can close the gap for sure.

Alex Becker: Courtland Sutton is in line for a big performance. The big wideout will be going up against the 31st ranked pass defense in the NFL, fresh off his pro bowl snub.

Zach Segars: Justin Simmons will have a game of revenge after not being named as a Pro Bowler. Mix in a bad, undrafted, rookie quarterback, a porous offensive line, and weak skill position talent and he could have a career day.

What’s the final score?

Rich Kurtzman: Denver will find itself back on an upswing following last week’s loss. They’ll look much more like the team from the game in Houston and start to build positive momentum again. Broncos win 30-20.

Aniello Piro: I think the Broncos will bounce back this week and defeat the Lions handily. Detroit has struggled all year and has played with little life in the last few weeks. Denver wins 24-10.  

Alex Becker: Detroit is a bad team in the midst of a tailspin and Denver takes care of business back on their home turf. Broncos win 30-23.

Zach Segars: The Lions match up so poorly with the Broncos and they’re 1-10 over their last 11. The Bengals are the only other team that can say that. Broncos win 34-12.