The Denver Broncos are coming off an emotional week, capped by a 38-10 win against the Detroit Lions. Now at 7-6, the Broncos face-off with the also 7-6 Cincinnati Bengals.
A win and the Broncos’ chances of reaching the playoffs grow significantly. A loss and Denver will begin scouting college bowl games a bit early.
What is the impression of the Broncos following the win against the Lions? How many games does Denver need to win to finish the season for a post-season win? Who needs to play well for the Broncos to beat the Bengals? Who will the story be Sunday? Score predictions versus the Bengals.
The Mile High Sports team gives their insight on all things Broncos.
Initial impressions of the Broncos win against the Lions? Was it a good performance or simply played a bad team?
JT Matthews (@JTMatthews01): My impression of the win against the Lions was that Denver was fired up and motivated and got the job done against an inferior team. I am aware that this is an obvious statement but so much of the Broncos season has been like predicting the next Colorado lottery winning numbers. To have a grasp on what the Broncos will do on the field any given Sunday is akin to prophecy. I won’t pretend that I was supremely confident that they would beat the Lions, but I am glad that is what occurred. This is a playoff-caliber team, they just need to continue to play like one.
Lindsay Bebout (@lindsaybebout): My initial impressions are that we could have easily won some of the games we lost early in the season if we had focused on the run game more (looking at you, Shurmy). I want to say good performance, but we’ve been down this road too many times for me to get excited!
Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars): It was a good performance. Look at what the playoff-hopeful Steelers and Vikings did against the Lions. Or the Browns, Ravens, and 49ers against the Lions. Or the Bills against the Jags. Easy matchups don’t guarantee easy wins. This is the NFL, it’s hard to win games.
Joey Richards (@JRDrafts): I think both can be true. The Broncos played a bad team but also played well against them. This game should be included in the bigger sample size of recent games to show fans that the Broncos are playing their best football as of late.
Rich Kurtzman (@RichKurtzman): It was a great game by the Broncos, but man, the Lions are awful. Can’t buy into it too much. Denver now has to have left business against a much better team in Cincy.
With four games against the Bengals, Raiders, Chargers, and Chiefs ahead of them, how many do the Broncos need to win to get into the playoffs?
Joey Richards: The Broncos have to at least go 3-1 over the next four games to have a good shot at the playoffs. Every game is vital at this point and the Broncos should treat any game as a must-win.
To beat the Bengals Sunday, Denver must _________, and why?
Rich Kurtzman: Not turn the ball over. If Teddy and the offense are only so-so, they will keep the team in the game as long as there are no turnovers. Of course, I expect them to run the ball a ton, so that means no fumbles.
Lindsay Bebout: I think at their best (which they don’t always play at), the Bengals are the scariest offense the Broncos have faced. They haven’t faced a team with a more impressive set of three receivers. Get to Joe Burrow (who leads all quarterbacks in sacks with 41) and prevent Joe Mixon from being a go-to option.
Who will be the story Sunday if Denver wins?
Joey Richards: If the Broncos beat the Bengals, the headlines will be about Vic Fangio. His team playing better as of late, he may have a more realistic chance at returning as the head football coach next season.
Nicholas Manning: Teddy Bridgewater must post above 100.0 passer rating for Denver to win. When he has done so this season, the Broncos are victorious, and when he struggles they lose. It is simple, the team goes as it goes.
Score predictions and why?
Rich Kurtzman: Broncos win 23-20. They will come out fired up on defense and it’ll be a tough, low-scoring battle that comes down to the final whistle. Broncos win 23-20. They will come out fired up on defense and it’ll be a tough, low-scoring battle that comes down to the final whistle.
Joey Richards: I think the Broncos eventually win this game 28-24. Playing with their back against the wall, the Broncos’ defense will continue their better play while the offense will be efficient.