KUSA - The Denver Broncos, who beat the Carolina Panthers, 21-20 in a game they could have lost, play the Indianapolis Colts, who lost to the Detroit Lions, 39-35 in a game they could have won, Sunday at soon-to-be-renamed Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Here are 9 keys for the Broncos in their attempt to start their season 2-0:
1. Siemian leads offense to 28 points
We’re not talking about including points scored by the Denver defense, either. The banged-up Indy defense surrendered an NFL-most 39 points in week 1 to Detroit. In Indy. The Colts’ offense, meanwhile, scored 35 points. In case Andrew Luck truly does have Denver’s number, Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian must answer.
2. Harass Andrew Luck
The Colts’ quarterback is ridiculously talented but he is turnover prone. Even if he can be tough to sack, he can be pressured into throwing a pick or two.
3.Get Demaryius going early
Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas was a concern all week because of a sore hip. He could gain confidence of mind and comfort in hip if he makes a big play early.
4.C.J. part II
Running back C.J. Anderson was the Broncos’ best rusher and receiver last week against Carolina. If he can mix in productive runs again this week, he can help open it up for Siemian, Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders.
5.Don’t worry about refs
There’s been talk that because the Denver defense had to spend part of the week defending claims of dirty play, the officials will watch with a stricter eye this week. Today’s referee, 28-year NFL vet Walt Coleman, and his crew called 14 penalties combined last week in the Minnesota-Tennessee game. Or about average.
Aside from fullback Andy Janovich, the play of Broncos’ rookies was uninspiring against Carolina. Safety Justin Simmons, punter Riley Dixon and running back Devontae Booker need to play better this week.
7.Solid special teams
Week 1 in the NFL featured a record six games decided by 2 points or less. Missed field goals and extra points were factors. And the pop-up kickoff used by New England helped the Patriots win at Arizona. Will Broncos special teams’ coordinator Joe DeCamillis employ the pop-up strategy today?
8.Cover T.Y. Hilton
And the other Colts receivers. The Broncos have a terrific secondary but Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett are tough covers. And the Colts’ tight end duo of Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle combined for seven catches and three touchdowns in week 1.
9.Match Colts desperation
Indy should have won last week and all teams fear starting 0-2. The Broncos put a ton of emotion and energy into their season opener last week against Carolina. Can they bring it again 10 days later?
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