The Denver Broncos haven’t exactly gotten off to the start that they were hoping for. With two disappointing losses at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts at home, the Broncos now sit in a three-way tie in the AFC West with the Chargers and Raiders in hopes of catching the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans, however, are in a better position sitting atop of the AFC South tied with the Colts and Texans.
Denver heads into LP Field on Sunday to take on the Tennessee Titans who are fresh off a win against the struggling New York Giants. Even with the two losses, the Broncos are leading the league in passing yards per game with 350 but are 30th in rushing yards with 67 yards a game. Through the first three games, quarterback Kyle Orton has notched Pro Bowl numbers – 97.4 QB rating, 1,078 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 66.4 percent of his passes. Even with those high numbers, the Broncos have failed to turn them into points – they currently rank 15th with 20.3 YPG.
Like I stated earlier, the Titans had it a little bit easier so far this season with wins over Oakland and the Giants. They also rank 5th in the League with 26.3 points per game but 28th in total offense. With his second worst outing as a pro, running back Chris Johnson was held to 34 yards rushing on 16 carries against the Steelers. The Giants did a great job of containing him as well – until he broke off a 42 yard run late in the 4th quarter – which brought him over the 100 yard mark, but it also took him 32 carries to get there. Defenses have learned to slow down Johnson by stacking the box and relying on their secondary to control the passing game. After averaging 5.9 yards per carry in 2009, Johnson is averaging only four yards this year – a full yard and a half less.
The biggest question is whether or not Vince Young can lead this team instead of relying on the legs of Johnson, which aren’t so clutch anymore. Young was benched in the loss against Pittsburgh (48.3 QB rating and two interceptions) but had a nice comeback against New York (105.7 QB rating, 118 yards and one touchdown). The problem with Young is his mentality – if things don’t start going his way he seems to crumble and start to make mistakes on the field – which he can’t afford to do against the veteran Bronco defense.
Denver’s secondary gave up three touchdowns through the air on Sunday – which was against Peyton Manning and the Colts – but cornerback Champ Bailey was banged up and Andre Goodman was out of the game. Safety Brian Dawkins was also shaken up and is expect to play this Sunday with a sore ankle. Look for an intriguing matchup of receiver Nate Washington and Bailey. Washington likes to go deep but many haven’t been successful against the Champ.
It’s going to be a close game, but look for the Titans to win this one as the Broncos fail to put up points.
About the Author
Written by Andrew Macaluso
21 year old sports blogger.