Saturday, July 12, 2008

2008 Game by Game Preview: Week 3 New Orleans, Week 4 Kansas City

With the NFL Preseason less than a month away we here at Broncos Denver Broncos will be previewing the entire season ahead, two games at a time. This is all in fun, but in reality it will be our best effort at predicting how the 2008 season will actually shape up for the Broncos. It should be fun to look back in January or February and laugh...

So here goes any credibility that we have, hope that you enjoy and feel free to add, subtract or crack my orange tinted glasses in half. Just do it in the comment section:

Week 3 (Sun. September 21st, 2008)
vs. New Orleans.

some facts: Mike Shanahan is 2-1 versus New Orleans. Drew Brees has been hurt twice against Denver in his career (one of which ushered in the Philip Rivers' era). Denver WR Keary Colbert posted his best game last season against New Orleans (4 for 74 yards, including one 49 yard reception). RB Michael Pittman was born in New Orleans and has posted one of his ten 100 yard games against the Saints. Brandon Marshall's DUI trial begins just prior to this week, which may or may not lead to his suspension, and would likely go into effect prior to this game.

Denver comes into the game hot off of the home win against San Diego. Fan spirits are high, while New Orleans is primed to knock Denver off of the high horse that it comes riding into Mile High on. Speculation is still running rampant on whether Saints RB Reggie Bush was a bust and Denver's loving the idea of proving last week was not a fluke.

Against a dangerous Drew Brees, sans serious impact receivers Champ Bailey and Dre Bly salivate over the possibilities. New Orleans is of course not without weapons on offense with the one/two punch of Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush, the Saints look to spread Denver thin by spreading the ball wide and short dumps to their backfield.

However, this is not Denver's 2007 defense and playing sideline to sideline with the type of speed Denver's currently employing is not a viable option and New Orleans must quickly adjust. John Lynch, still fresh in Brees' mind from the last time they met, blitzes effectively, disrupting Brees' timing allows Bailey to easily handle Marques Holston.

On offense, the big news will be the premiere of rookie wide receiver Eddie Royal, early in the second half. He appears to be totally in sync with Cutler and fans couldn't be happier. Selvin Young posts his second 150+ yard game, but runs the risk of being injured, a healthy rotation of Michael Pittman and Andre Hall insure that Young stays healthy for next week. Denver finishes the game 2-1, despite some fans thinking that this may be one of the toughest games we have all year.

Week 4 (Sun. September 28th, 2008)
at Kansas City.

Denver handled Kansas City very easily last season, but with Herm Edwards job on the line, not to mention the Chiefs stellar home field record still holding weight; no matter how bad they may be, Denver should expect problems, as always from the Chiefs. Kansas City is young and they're not expecting to be great yet. It's easy for the Broncos to look past this game towards the following week against Tampa Bay. But they better be careful, because it is very possible that Denver could be back at .500 again by the end of the day.

To pull an away game at Kansas City in late September beats the hell out of pulling them at home in December though. Brodie Croyle is still experiencing an extreme trial by fire and there will be some debate over whether Damon Huard should start this game (and at some point in this game, he'll more than likely see action). I mentioned a trial by fire and though there may be a quarterback controversy in KC, there is in fact no doubt over whether or not they still have a great running game.

This is the trouble for Denver, because despite the fact that Denver has, at this point, defended well against the run, this is their real first challenge. Between Larry Johnson trying to prove that he's still one of the best and Kolby Smith relieving him Denver's in for trouble. Dwayne Bowie's ambition is also out to prove against Champ Bailey and company that he's the NFL's next Marvin Harrison.

Denver will take it's dents in this game on defense, unexpectedly, but will continue to shine on offense due to Eddie Royal's great returns. Easy field position pairs with Jay Cutler's new stable of exciting wide receiver's has fans searching the internet looking for how early they can vote for the Pro Bowl.

Denver ends the game looking like a legit threat in the NFL. Broncos roll to 3-1.

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