Tomorrow night, the St. Louis Rams take on the Denver Broncos in Week 3 of the NFL preseason. To get some inside information on Broncos’ camp, we went behind enemy lines and spoke with Kim Constantinesco, the senior editor at PredominantlyOrange.com, the Denver Broncos site within the Fansided Network. With it being the infamous Week 3 of preseason, the starter for both teams are likely to play, at least, up until halftime. Thus, for the first time this season, this matchup might actually have the “feel” of a real NFL game. So, here are six questions that should help us get a better overall impression of the “new” Denver Broncos…
Also, be sure to check out Ramblin’ Fan’s answer to the Broncos’ questions; click here to see!
1. How much are the Broncos’ starters expected to play on Saturday?
Most of the Broncos’ starters will play into the third quarter on Saturday. Head coach John Fox wants the guys to get used to coming out after halftime with their engine running. I wouldn’t expect them to go much more than a series into the third quarter though.
2. There have been some big changes to the Broncos’ roster, especially in the front-seven. How much will the losses of Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller (for the opening six games) effect Denver this season?
While the loss of Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller might spell trouble on the stat sheet, there’s a lot to consider here.
First off, Dumervil was never that great at stopping the run. Derek Wolfe in his second year (6 sacks in ’12) can easily help replace Dumervil. Losing Miller isn’t that big of a hit to the Broncos in the grand scheme of things. The team is only missing him for one game against a divisional opponent. Even if the Broncos were to go 4-2 or even 3-3 in their first six games, they can still easily win the division. Miller’s replacement is Shaun Phillips, a guy who has been around the block once or twice.
“I think I’ve been successful without Von so far,” Phillips said this week in practice.
If anything, having Miller fresh starting in week seven could pay off big for the Broncos late in the season and into the playoffs.
3. What are you expectations for Peyton Manning this season? Can he repeat his near-MVP performance, or will there be some decline?
Expect a bigger year from Manning. He’s got a full year under his belt with young wideouts, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker (Before coming to Denver, he never had targets that big). Throw in Wes Welker, and this could be Manning’s best year of his career, statistically speaking. Manning has said that he feels stronger and more confident this year. You heard it here first – Best year of his career.
4. The Broncos have a unique preseason schedule, facing off against every team in the NFC West. Having played to two “favorites” in the division already, which team do you think will have the upper hand once the season starts?
Preseason games are always tough to analyze when talking in terms of the regular season. I’ll tell you what. Defenses should fear Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. The guys provide a dual threat in the air and on the ground, and for that reason, they keep defenses guessing. I see the 49ers with the early edge, but the Seahawks and Rams are right in this race. It’s an exciting time for the division.
5. Who is the one rookie that could we should keep an eye on Saturday? One “new” veteran to keep an eye on?
Keep an eye on rookie back Montee Ball out of Wisconsin. The Broncos are hoping he can play a major role in the run game alongside Ronnie Hillman. Ball had 82 total touchdowns in college so expect the Broncos to use him down inside the 20 quite a bit. Also keep an eye on second-year linebacker Danny Trevathan. The Broncos moved him to the starting weakside spot this week after moving Wesley Woodyard to the “Mike.” Trevathan is considered under-sized by many, but he’s a ball-hawking guy that will need to come up big for the Broncos, especially in the first six weeks.
6. While it may still be a preseason game, I thought we might still have some fun with a “final prediction.” Since most coaches keep their starters on the field for the opening two quarters, what is your prediction for the “halftime win”?
Broncos win at halftime 17-7