How do the Broncos get a win on Sunday against the Commanders?

Sep 16, 2023, 8:57 AM

Chase Young...

(Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos have played one game, and they are still looking for their first win in the Sean Payton era. After falling to the Las Vegas Raiders 17-16 in Week 1, the Broncos now face a team some may not think is as good as I think they are.

The Broncos are at home in Week 2, and the crowd is hoping things turn out better than they did last week against the Raiders. Things have been bad around Denver for six seasons, and things were supposed to be different under Payton. The offense was efficient against the Raiders with multiple long drives, but this team failed to score 20 points again – something they haven’t done regularly in years.

The Commanders have a young quarterback with a gunslinger mentality. The Broncos’ defense is going to have opportunities to get their hands on turnovers, and perhaps a scoring defense could help the team get past 20 points this week.

How will the Broncos attack the Commanders on both sides of the ball? Let’s take a look.


When the Broncos Run the Ball

The phrase ‘meat on the bone’ was used quite a bit this week when describing the rushing attack in Week 1. Starting LG Quinn Meinerz was the first to say that when describing what the film from the season opener showed the team. After Meinerz, TE Chris Manhertz, and RB Javonte Williams all reiterated similar sentiments when talking about their ground game.

The Broncos can lead the way on the ground. That potentially means a lot of Williams. He came back from a major knee injury suffered less than a year ago, and against the Raiders last week Williams almost looked like his old self. As the Broncos use both Williams and RB Samaje Perine, there seems to be plenty of work for both. Williams can be the lead back, and Perine can get enough work to register as a co-starter.

That duo is all about power. In fact, it’s the best way for the Broncos to begin and end these games. The team is not built to run away with games, so winning ugly means they’ll have to win with physicality. Against the Raiders, the Broncos did not run enough – especially when they were in the red zone. I believe that changes this week. Denver can have long drives under Payton, but the exclamation point might be with Williams or Perine plunging into the end zone.

We’ll see if the Broncos can get all that extra meat on the bone. I’d like to see more from rookie RB Jaleel McLaughlin – since his game is built on speed and explosiveness. However, I just want to see Denver lead the way on the ground, something that I believe can lead to multiple wins.


When the Broncos Pass the Ball

Since they’re going to run the heck out of the ball, that doesn’t leave much for the Broncos’ passing attack. We should once again see QB Russell Wilson manage the game and use dink-and-dunk passing to move the chains regularly. Fans may want more deep passes, but that’s not going to be the design of this offense.

The Broncos can move the ball between the 20s, but they need touchdowns when they get near pay dirt. Losing TE Greg Dulcich for at least a few weeks with a hamstring injury means that others are going to have to step up in that red-zone role. That means WR Courtland Sutton, and his large frame could get more looks in the end zone. However, I believe TE Adam Trautman and WR Lil Jordan Humphrey could also get more targets when the team is in position to score.

Something that could help short passes turn into long gains is the return of WR Jerry Jeudy. He’s been practicing this week, and Jeudy should be out there after missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury. Jeudy is a favorite of both Payton and Wilson. He wins early in his route, and Payton’s system gets the ball out of Wilson’s hand quickly. Add it up, and it equals a big role for Jeudy if he’s healthy. One player does not make a team, but Jeudy’s return could be among the biggest differences we see from Week 1 to Week 2.


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How do the Broncos get a win on Sunday against the Commanders?