Will the Denver Broncos offense get right against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday? If they do, they’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of a banged-up Titans defense.

Denver Broncos offense needs to get right vs. tough Titans team

The Broncos open up the second half of their nine remaining games with a tough one on Sunday morning against the Tennessee Titans. Offensively, the Broncos are as healthy as they are going to be despite missing KJ Hamler and Andrew Beck for Sunday’s showdown.

The Titans’ defense is banged up as well and will be missing four starters for Sunday’s game. They’ll be without outside linebacker Bud Dupree, star defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, safety Amani Hooker, and inside linebacker Zach Cunningham. Rising cornerback Kristian Fulton is questionable with a hamstring injury. Sunday’s game is the perfect opportunity for the Broncos’ offense to get right.

Everything starts with efficiency on first down, an area of concern for Denver in the first half of the season. Poor efficiency on first down has attributed to poor efficiency on third down where the Broncos hope to improve from converting only 29% of their attempts.

Pass protection in passing situations has to be solid, especially inside the interior of the offensive line that will see Graham Glasgow start at center next to offensive guards Dalton Risner and Quinn Meinerz. With Simmons out, the Titans will be without one of their key defensive pressure creators from the interior, but Denver will still have to account for Denico Autry who will also be able to create pressure.

For Russell Wilson, getting in a rhythm early will be a crucial key for the Broncos’ offense. Don’t be surprised if Denver gets the urge to change the tempo early on in this game as players have expressed that the offense is better when they’re playing at a faster pace. Spreading production out amongst playmakers like Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Greg Dulcich, and potentially undrafted rookie free agent Jalen Virgil, will help the offense sustain what it hasn’t been able to do all season long.

Another way the Broncos’ offense can get right against the Titans is by finding a way to run the football. With Simmons and Cunningham out for Tennessee in this game, it could help Nathaniel Hackett and Wilson to get Latavius Murray and Melvin Gordon more involved between the tackles.

Broncos defense must bring their A-game against Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry is as unique of a player that football fans will see on the field. He’s a unicorn at his position with how fluid he moves, and how fast he is for his size. If the Broncos are going to head to Nashville and play spoilers, they’ll have to bring their a-game against Henry and company.

Consistency is key for the Broncos’ run defense which has allowed several big plays in the run game this season. Trying to limit a player like Henry is difficult because of the Titans’ style of play, offensively, where the approach is to wear opposing defenses down with 14 to 15-play drives.

With the Broncos’ questionable depth at edge rusher heading into this game, don’t be surprised if the defense throws an additional down-lineman onto the field and an additional linebacker. So much of this will be contingent upon whether or not Ryan Tannehill returns from injury or Malik Willis gets the start once again. With Tannehill, the Broncos have to respect the run/pass balance more, if Willis starts, Denver has to account for him in the read option game.

Regardless, the Titans will have to pass the ball at some point, which leads to Patrick Surtain more than likely drawing the coverage assignment on rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks who appears likely to return from injured reserve. Robert Woods is the other receiving threat that Damarri Mathis would likely account for, while coverage responsibility on Austin Hooper likely gets passed to safeties Justin Simmons or Kareem Jackson. Simmons is questionable for Sunday’s game as he was limited on Thursday and Friday with a knee sprain.

While many Broncos fans have written the team off for the season, Denver is still very much in the thick of things with nine games remaining. A Denver Broncos road win on Sunday against the Titans won’t be easy, but it could be exactly what they need to kickstart what could be an impressive second-half run.

Cody Roark is Mile High Sports lead reporter covering the Denver Broncos — Cody covers every practice, every home and away game plus community events related to the organization. He also co-hosts The Afternoon Drive with Aniello Piro on Mile High Sports Radio and is the host of the Locked On Broncos podcast. You can follow Cody on Twitter and Instagram @CodyRoarkNFL.